Butler State Fishing Lake

Butler State Fishing Lake
View from the dam
All Photos by Jim Mason

This peaceful retreat lies in the heart of the Flint Hills tallgrass prairie.  Purple prairie clover, catclaw sensitive brier, blue false indigo, and yellow prairie coneflower are just a few of the many wildflowers that bloom in the rolling hills around the lake.

Fishing on the lake
A small boat is ideal to get around on this jewel of a lake

During spring and fall the lake offers one of the area's few stopovers for migrating ducks-among them American wigeons, blue-winged teal, mallards, buffleheads, lesser scaup, and northern shovelers. Anglers are entertained by painted turtles, bullfrogs, chorus frogs, and by dragonflies cruising the shoreline for small insects.

On the upper end of the lake

At both ends of the lake, small wooded areas adjoin the North Branch of Rock Creek. Beaver cuttings are evident, as are the bushy leaf nests of fox squirrels.  Bobwhites, cardinals, chickadees, woodpeckers, and other woodland birds are concentrated along this riparian corridor.

Greater prairie chicken booming grounds (leks) on the surrounding prairie can be located on still spring mornings by driving slowly along country roads at sunrise and stopping frequently to listen for the displaying males. Other prairie birds include upland sandpipers, Henslow's sparrows, common nighthawks, loggerhead shrikes, and eastern meadowlarks. Be alert for deer and coyotes. Bobcats are also here but are seldom seen.


Picnic tables, Shelters, Grills, Pit toilets, Boat ramp, Water available.

Camping iconPrimitive camping only.

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Trail icon No developed trails.

Click here to get county birding lists for Kansas. Click the icon to find a birding list for Butler County.

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For more Wildlife Watching sites in the Flint Hills, click here Click here for more Wildlife Watching sites in the Flint Hills!

Butler State Lake map

Directions: From Latham (~40 miles east of Wichita) go 2 miles west and 1/2 mile north.

Location in Kansas

For a Google Map for this site, click here.

Ownership: The entity responsible for management of Butler State Lake is the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism.  Contact them at (316) 683-8069 if you have specific questions about use or management of the site.  546 acres
You may download the KDWPT brochure on Butler State Fishing Lake from their web site.

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