Back in May we laid out what we were hoping to accomplish this summer. With June and July under our belts we’ve made progress in some areas, but have been held back in others. We’ve still got time to knock a few more things off of our list before September’s teal season gets here and a little more room before November.
If you’ve just crawled out from under a rock, this year has been totally different from the previous one. I took a look at the 30 year average rainfall and compared it to 2012 and 2013 between the months of April and July. Last year during the drought we only totaled 6.29 inches around Puxico. On a typical year the average rainfall total for this time period is 17.51 inches. This year, rains have been pretty consistent into the summer and we’ve received a total of 24.44 inches. The wet conditions have had their pluses and minuses.
On the “plus” side of the scale we were able to get trees planted and haven’t lost them to drought. If we tried to do that last year, we would have seen a lot of crispy twigs and would have had to do it all over again. The aquatic plants and the moist soil plants have also responded well to the additional moisture and there will be a lot of food available for fall migratory waterfowl. Ducks aren’t the only ones that benefit when wetlands are wet. In a recent survey we picked up twenty-one different species of fish that are using the restored sloughs in Units A and B.
When looking at the “minus” side of the rainy season, the food plots took a hit and were late getting in this year. However, the Japanese millet and milo food plots in Units A and B were finished up on Monday and staff will be moving to Dark Cypress as soon as it is accessible with a tractor. In a perfect world we would have started the construction tweaks in Units A and B at the beginning of July. However, our timetable was delayed a little here too, but we have begun to chip away at our list. Last week we fixed a couple water control structures and will begin to move a little dirt once we dry out from this latest rain. Now that we’ve got the ball rolling, we’ll try to keep the inertia moving in the right direction.
Some of the water control structure fixes will temporarily dictate where we will be able to flood up for teal season. At this point in time, we don’t know how many acres we will be able to provide, but should have a better handle on that in the next couple of weeks. What I can tell you is that the northern portion of Pool 1 will be open to hunting and there will be pools in Units A and B open as well. Construction has started on the headquarters building, but will not be finished in September; therefore, we won’t have a morning draw and the positions will be allocated by a self check-in system.
Well, that is all for now. Thanks for checking in to see what’s going on. We appreciate the interest and support.