It takes a bit of work to get things moving, gain momentum and start to see progress. The Duck Creek Golden Anniversary Renovation is no different. We’ve already started a few projects and will be undertaking a few more in the coming year. Our early renovation emphasis will be focused on our infrastructure. It is critical to be able to move water on and off of the landscape to benefit our natural resources as well as provide flood water retention and public use. This work will entail clearing trees along ditch banks, cleaning out ditches and replacing old water control structures.
In the last few years Mingo National Wildlife Refuge has cleaned out their drainage ditches. Last year Mingo helped us by cleaning off the trees on the west side of Pool 3 in preparation for us to continue cleaning out Ditch 1. We put in place a spillway along Unit A and Ditch 111 for flood relief and reconnecting sheetflow through the basin. In the next year we will be partnering with Little River Drainage District and Natural Resource Conservation Service to clean out ditches 103, 104, 105, 106 and 111. Dovetailing with the ditch clean-out, we will be replacing several water control structures around pools 1 and 3. In addition, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is planning to replace the Cato water control structure along the Castor River this fall and winter.
This drainage network (water from the Castor River through the Cato structure and down Ditch 111) is how Duck Creek recharges Pool 1 reservoir. Pool 1 plays multiple roles for Duck Creek. It supplies water to flood the timber in pools 2 and 3, which are waterfowl hunting units. It also is maintained as a public fishing reservoir. Consequently, the renovation activities over the next year may temporarily restrict public use from time to time. In particular, waterfowl hunting opportunities in pools 2 and 3 may be restricted this fall.
As you can see, we’re starting to gain some traction and move forward with the Duck Creek Golden Anniversary Renovation by focusing first on a solid foundation and collaborating with partners. As these initial projects are accomplished, we will gain momentum and be ready to move forward to the next stage of our renovation.