WMA Overview

Size: 8645 acres
Location: Ballard
Contact: (270) 224-2244
Elevation: minimum 295 feet, maximum 361 feet.
Entrance GPS coordinates: Latitude N 37.0095, Longitude W -89.1218
Area Habitat: open land 34.97%, forest 15.16%, wetland 39.60%, open water 10.26%.

Regulations

Swan Lake Unit:

Squirrel: Open under statewide regulations from the third Saturday in May through the third Friday in June, and from the third Saturday in August through Oct. 14.

Turkey (Spring): Open under statewide regulations.

Rabbit, Grouse, Quail, Fall Turkey & Furbearers: Closed.

Deer: Open under statewide regulations for Archery and Crossbow seasons through Oct. 14 only, and the Youth-Only Firearms season.

Closed for Free Youth Weekend.

Unit closed to all public access Oct. 15 - March 15

Olmsted, Peal and all other units: Open under statewide regulations for all hunting and trapping seasons, except some portions may be closed to public access as marked by signs.

Waterfowl:

Including Peal, Olmstead, 400 Acre and Swan Lake units

• From Nov.28- Dec. 1, shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset, excluding Swan Lake Unit, which is closed. Hunters do not have to check in during these dates.

• Hunting must cease,and hunters and equipment must be off the area by 2 p.m. CST from Dec. 7, 2019 - Jan. 31, 2020. These dates require check-in.

• For all units, check-in begins at 4:30 a.m. CST at the First General Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 255 S. 4th Street, Barlow, KY 42024. Blinds are drawn starting at 4:45 a.m. CST.

• Hunters must check out of the area by accurately completing the Daily Post-Hunt Survey provided by the department and submitting the survey at the at the check-in station by 3 p.m.

• Hunters are not allowed to enter the area to hunt until after they check in and possess a check-in card.

• Waterfowl hunters are limited to 25 shot shells per day.

• Hunting is permitted Wednesday - Sunday, no hunting on Christmas Eve,Christmas Day or New Year's Day.

• When hunting assigned hunt sites:

- At least one person in the blind must be 18 years of age or older;

- Hunters shall only hunt waterfowl from a permanent department blind or layout blind(s)in a single group of 2-4 persons from layout blinds set in such a manner that all layout blinds in the group lie within a 25 foot radius of the blind group."Layout blind" means a portable blind that when fully deployed allows an individual hunter to conceal oneself above the surface of the ground;

- While hunting from a boat, hunters must hunt within 25 feet of assigned designated point;

- Boat blinds shall not be permitted in flooded timber, except during periods of flood where no other access is possible and except mobility-impaired hunters may hunt from a boat with no set back restriction fro those in the party assisting with the hunt. When boat blinds are permitted, there shall be a 200-yard distance between boat blinds.

- Decoys must be removed at the end of each day's hunt, and may not be left unattended.

• Areas identified by signs are closed to trespassing Oct. 15 - March 15.

• Areas identified by signs are closed to all hunting except for waterfowl from Nov. 1- Jan. 31.

• Those participating in a Kentucky Fish & Wildlife waterfowl quota hunt

Directions & Description

  • Peal Unit (1,724 acres): 4 miles west of Barlow on Mounds City Landing Road. River bottomland with marshlands and cypress swamps; 2 roads, access to 3 oxbow lakes. Special regulations for waterfowl hunting.
  • Upper Blenderman Unit (204 acres): same address as Peal. Special regulations for waterfowl hunting.
  • Zola Taress Unit (100 acres): same address as Peal. Open under statewide regulations.
  • Stevens Unit (73 acres): same address as Peal. Special regulations for waterfowl hunting.
  • Swan Lake Unit (2,200 acres): 6 miles northwest of Wickliffe on US 51/60. Primarily bottomland and flood plain area of the Ohio River, with several lakes and some interior gravel roads. Wintering ring-billed and herring gulls, double-crested cormorants, waterfowl, bald eagles. Special regulations for hunting, advance application for waterfowl hunting. Except for designated observation area, Swan Lake Unit closed Oct. 15-March 15 as waterfowl refuge. Public hunting closed when floodwaters prevent safe entry to blinds by wheeled vehicles. Fishing and boating available. Open under statewide regulations,
  • Olmsted Unit (2,096 acres): 4 miles west of Barlow on Salle Crice Road. Special regulations for waterfowl hunting.
  • Other units include the Stalling Unit (148 acres) and the Perkins Unit (160 acres).