BLUE RAPIDS – The actions of a thoughtless thief or thieves could have dire impacts on the duck hunting prospects for Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s (KDWPT) Black Vermillion Marsh on the Tuttle Creek Wildlife Area. Early on Thursday morning, KDWPT staff discovered that a diesel engine and 300-gallon fuel tank mounted on a trailer were missing. The equipment was being used to pump water and flood marshes on the wildlife area.
The severe drought has left marshes dry, and the water level at Tuttle Creek Reservoir is the second lowest on record. Projections are that if substantial rain does not fall in the basin this fall, the lake may reach a new record low sometime this winter. The only bright spot is that lower water levels during the summer allowed vegetation to grow and create exceptional food resources for waterfowl. However, unless that vegetation can be flooded, neither the ducks nor the hunters will be able to take advantage of it.
Wildlife area staff had been periodically pumping water over the past 45 days, flooding vegetation to improve conditions for ducks and hunters. The stolen equipment is easily recognizable as the black 300-gallon fuel tank and red Case diesel engine are both mounted on a large black fifth-wheel, tandem-axle trailer.
KDWPT officials are asking anyone with information that could lead to recovery of this stolen property to contact the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office at 785-562-3141 or the KDWPT office at 785-363-7316