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The Full Story

Keith Sebelius Lake, formerly known as Norton Reservoir, is a man-made reservoir on Prairie Dog Creek in northwest Kansas. Built and managed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, it is used for flood control, irrigation, recreation, and local water supply. Prairie Dog State Park is located on its shore. Read more


Recreational Use

  • Fishing, boating, hunting, recreation

  • #1 Fishing lake in the State of Kansas

  • Open for sport fishing year-round. 

    • The primary sport fish in the area include saugeye, wipers, largemouth bass, crappie, and channel catfish. Spotted bass, walleye, flathead catfish and bluegill are also present.

  • Hunting is permitted on the public land around the reservoir although it is restricted in certain areas.

    • The area attracts good numbers of waterfowl.  

Economic Impact

An Economic Impact Study was conducted in 2018 to determine the magnitude of the economic impact of Sebelius Lake and Prairie Dog State Park on the local economy. 

  • Sebelius Lake brings approximately 200,000 visitors to Norton County each year

  • Total economic impact on Norton County, KS of the 194,655 recreational users (2022) of Sebelius Reservoir is estimated to be $4,848,000 annually.

  • Annual Return on Investment (ROI) on the $100,000 contractual payment made to the Almena Irrigation District for increased recreational water use is 4.17% every year (2018 data).

  • The City of Norton draws 60% of its water from Sebelius Lake. The fuller the lake, the cleaner the water, which benefits the City and County of Norton.


Secure Sebelius Lake

Rights to the water are held by the City of Norton and the Almena Irrigation District #5. In 2016, Norton County Community Foundation signed a 10-year agreement with the Almena Irrigation District and the Kansas Dept of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism for the establishment of a temporary minimum pool level at Sebelius Lake to continue the recreational use of the lake.


$100,000 is paid to the Almena Irrigation District annually ($50,000 by KDWPT and $50,000 by NCCF.) 

Let's Work Together

Here's where you come in. Over the last several years, NCCF has raised its portion of the funds through generous donors and events (Clay Pigeon Shoots, Fat Fish Fest. etc.). It's now time to share the opportunity with the broader community. We all benefit from the lake, as showcased by the statistics above, and we all can be part of securing its future in Norton County.


Please consider making an annual or one-time gift to the Secure Sebelius Lake Fund at Norton County Community Foundation.


Open for sport fishing year-round


Sport boats, kayaks, paddle boards.


Clean drinking water for Norton County


Camping, biking, hiking trails

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Donate Now

Complete this secure online donation form to support the Secure Sebelius Lake Fund at Norton County Community Foundation. Alternatively, cash/checks can be mailed to 112 S. Kansas Ave., Suite 203, Norton, KS 67654

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