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Too Much of a Good Thing

Published on: Jul. 21, 2011

challenge of fishing Pool 1, however, is its aquatic vegetation requires a little more patience and light line. You'll get hung up on the vegetation, but that is where the lunkers are.

Although vegetation harbors the fish, it also makes them hard to reach. Therefore, we’re controlling Pool 1’s aquatic plants. Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-brand-fits-all herbicide out there… at least not one that is approved for aquatic use and that wouldn’t kill all of your fish too.

The Aquatic Plants of Pool 1

In Pool 1 there are many species of plants that tie up space in the water column, but they typically fall into two groups.

Submergent vegetation are plants that grow and stay under water.  Coontail, Eurasian watermilfoil, bladderwort, fanwort and Elodea (also called American waterweed) are the main submergent species found in Pool 1. As I mentioned earlier, the distribution and density of these species has changed over the years. Coontail and watermilfoil used to be the dominant submerged plants in Pool 1, but in 2001 fanwort started become more dominant and outcompeted the coontail. Since 2009 Elodea has come into the picture and is becoming a larger player.

On the water’s surface there is more than just one type of lily or floating, leaved plant. American lotus, water lily, spatterdock and water shield are the four main species. You can tell the difference between them by their leaf size and shape and their different flowers. American lotus is the largest. It has a round leaf that can also extend above the water’s surface.

In the past, this plant had stayed on the north end of the pool, but recently it has increased across the southwest corner. In 2003 a few small patches of lotus covered less than 7 acres in this portion. Since then, the area covered by lotus has continued to expand on average 15 acres per year. In 2010, roughly 122 acres were covered by lotus in this section of Pool 1.

Plant Management

So what is our strategy to keep this dense mat of vegetation back so it is easier to fish?

As I mentioned earlier, there isn’t a simple solution. Pool 1 is 1,800 acres, and treating the whole area is not feasible. Additionally, since these plants compete for the same light and space in the water column, once you remove one species another will move in and take up the empty space. The plants on top of the water require a

Key Messages: 

Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt and fish.

Comments

On August 2nd, 2011 at 11:45am 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 6:17am 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 2:53pm TEAL HUNTER said:

Will pool 1 be open for September teal season?

On July 28th, 2011 at 7:13pm 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 8:06am 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 12:00am 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 10:38pm 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 4:40pm 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 3:26pm 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 3:18pm 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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