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Too Much of a Good Thing

Published on: Jul. 21, 2011

My grandma is a great cook, which might be why I grew up with a healthy appetite. Her freshly baked cinnamon rolls were one of my favorites, and one Saturday morning I polished off a whole pan of warm rolls covered with melting peanut butter. Needless to say, I overdid it a bit and was pretty green the rest of the day. This was my first memorable lesson of "too much of a good thing."

For those of you who have fished Pool 1 in the summer, it too can look a little green. This green appearance can also make your stomach ache, but for a totally different reason. All of the vegetation in and on top of the water can make it pretty darn difficult to fish.

Changing Plant Communities in Pool 1

Sixty years ago Pool 1 was forested and looked similar to pools 2 and 3. The plan for the area was to catch water from the Castor River in the fall and flood the impoundments for waterfowl hunting. Unfortunately this plan didn’t work, so early on the decision was made to make Pool 1 into a storage reservoir. This pool is 1 mile wide and 3 miles long. The land falls only 6 feet from north to south, making it a rather shallow lake.

It wasn’t long after Pool 1 was permanently flooded that its potential for fish was realized. Plants responded to the permanent, clear, calm, shallow water. As the timber died back, the aquatic plants surged forward. The change in vegetation from trees to aquatic plants is easy to see. What has been a little more difficult to observe is the constant power struggle and change that has occurred with the plants living in and on the water.

Aquatic Plants Benefit Fish

The floating and submerged vegetation is the blessing and the curse of Pool 1. The big floating leaves provide shade. The submerged stems and leaves provide structure and food for a variety of critters (microbes, bugs and fish of all sizes). Additionally, the plants act as small aerators by taking in carbon dioxide and pumping out oxygen into the water column. Despite Pool 1's shallow depth, the vegetation is what drives the healthy fish population.

Some lakes may be considered great crappie or largemouth bass lakes. However, Pool 1 has a host of species that are a great size to catch, including bluegill, black crappie, largemouth bass, redear, chain pickerel and warmouth. The

Key Messages: 

Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt and fish.

Comments

On August 2nd, 2011 at 12:45pm frank said:

Glad you are starting to see some progress with the lotus.  As far as your other question, unfortunately, we are not replacing the privies that have been taken out.  In regards to the questions about teal and waterfowl season, don’t think that we have forgotten about you.  We will post something later this week.  Thank you again for the questions and interest in the area. 

On August 1st, 2011 at 7:17am Anonymous said:

Thanks for your efforts on controlling the lily pads. The spraying is making a small dent in the coverage. But here's a strange request for you....do you have plans to replace the toilets on the west levee?? Now that the southwest portion of the lake is covered with pads the trip back to the boat dock to use the toilets has proved "difficult".

On July 29th, 2011 at 3:53pm TEAL HUNTER said:

Will pool 1 be open for September teal season?

On July 28th, 2011 at 8:13pm Darin said:

Is Duck Creek going to give out reservations this year? And if so, how many will be given out considering renovations will be limiting hunting this year? Thanks and keep up the good work!!!

On July 26th, 2011 at 9:06am frank said:

We have looked into this option.  Unfortunately, Pool 1 would be nightmare for an aquatic weed trimmer.  These operate with two serrated blades that go back and forth.  Hitting just one stump would bend or break several teeth and make the trimmer inoperable.  The machine would be a constant maintenance headache.  Also, if were able to avoid the stumps, there would be potential to chew through a lot of fish as the swaths of vegetation were cut.  This is why we haven’t used an aquatic weed trimmer and have used herbicides instead.  Thanks for the question.

On July 26th, 2011 at 1:00am Anonymous said:

I know MDC has weed boats, as they sold a couple off at the auction last year in Salem. Has there been any attempt to just cut the stuff back once a month or so instead of spraying expensive chemicals to pollute the things away?

On July 22nd, 2011 at 11:38pm Anonymous said:

I have a question about the upcomming waterfowl season. I know it might be a little early to tell. Do you know about how many positions could be available from the new property you guys aquired this year? And what pools will be in use this year?

On July 22nd, 2011 at 5:40pm Harry Copeland said:

The Duck Creek CA vegetation post brought back memories of fishing and bow hunting Pool 1 many years ago. My first visit to Pool 1 was shortly after the initial flooding. I was a child riding in a jon boat down through the boat lanes cut in the totally wooded pool. The water was so clear that a carpet of leaves could be seen on the bottom beneath the boat. As the years past, I fished Pool 1 many times. The trees began to rot and fall and the vegetation took over. I remember fishing in small areas clear of vegetation, where huge nesting bluegills made their spawing beds. I moved from the area 35 years ago and have not fished there since, but I can imagine the increase in vegetation that has occured.

On July 22nd, 2011 at 4:26pm frank said:

Well, I can’t guarantee that your outboard won’t get bogged down.  No doubt about it, there is a lot of veg out there.  However, I hope this gives you an idea of how we’re trying to approach it.  Thanks for the response.  Have a good weekend.

On July 22nd, 2011 at 4:18pm Ken said:

Good article guys! I remember Pool 1 with so much "moss" that it was hard to run my small outboard on the old 14' john boat, so hearing about the "weed" control efforts are heartening indeed. I probably won't know the CA the next time I'm down home, but I'm going to make the drive through the area just to see where you've gone in the past few years!!!Thanks again for updates from Duck Creek, one of my favorite "fishin' holes"!!!Regards, kkr
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