Fishing and Hunting
John Redmond Reservoir provides excellent opportunities for fishing and hunting. Principal species of fish in the lake include white crappie, walleye, white bass, channel catfish, and flathead catfish.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks has a license to manage 1,472 acres for wildlife management. The licensed area is known as Otter Creek Wildlife Area and is managed primarily for bobwhite quail, mourning dove, greater prairie chicken, cottontail rabbit, squirrel, white-tailed deer, and turkey.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has 18,500 acres of project land under a cooperative agreement for operation of the Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is managed as part of the national migratory waterfowl program. Detailed refuge fishing and hunting information can be obtained from the Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge website or from the refuge office at 530 W. Maple Ave, Hartford, Kansas.
Hunting and fishing activities are regulated by federal and state laws. Courtesy and safety should be practiced when using public lands.
Camping and Picnicking
John Redmond Reservoir has three recreation parks which provide camping and picnicking facilities. These park facilities include individual camping units (table, cooker, fire ring, utility hookups - water and electric), and waterborne toilets and shower facilities. Other facilities provided include group picnic shelters and boat launching ramps.
Youth 12 and under must wear a lifejacket at all times when onboard a boat. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers encourages all boaters to wear their lifejackets at all times and to learn to swim well!
John Redmond Reservoir is located in the broad Neosho River Valley. The rolling hills afford the visitor an opportunity to see many acres of agriculture and grassland. Fields of wheat, corn, and maize are abundant. Large areas of native tall-grass prairie on the rolling hilltops include species such as Big Bluestem, Little Bluestem, Indian Grass, Switch Grass, Brome Grass, and Sideoats Grama which provide a waving sea of grass during the summer. These grasses become a colorful landscape in the fall. The bottomland areas consist of wooded cover of such species as elm, black walnut, hickory, ash, hackberry, cottonwood, oak, and cedar.
John Redmond Reservoir has no designated swim beaches. Swim and wade only where you are familiar with the water depths and bottoms. Do not swim alone; have an adult or buddy with you. Be careful of overestimating your swimming ability as water distances are deceiving. Swimmers should not swim on or near boat ramps or courtesy docks.
John Redmond Reservoir offers hiking and mountain biking trails. There is a 1.5 mile trail located in Riverside East Park for hikers and mountain bike riders. There are numerous trails on the Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge. Additional information can be obtained from the refuge office.