Heating Up At Duck Creek

Installing a Water Control Structure

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Prepping Unit A

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Kick Starting Aquatic Plants

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Published on: May. 24, 2012

Things are heating up at Duck Creek, and it isn’t just the temperatures.

Construction in Unit A

In a cloud of dust the contractors are back on site and working on their punch list. This week they have been setting water control structures into place and doing finishing work along the levees. They are also installing the pipe that will distribute water from one of our new wells. After a few more items are checked off of the to-do list, then the electric company will come in and run their lines so that we’ll have power to run the pumps.

Management in Unit A

As we mentioned in a previous post, the plant response in Unit A has been a mixed bag this year. Likewise, our management approach has been diverse. In certain sections we haven’t done anything and let the smartweed and millet grow to produce seed. In other areas we have disked the undesirable cocklebur and false aster down to set back succession. We have also planted corn food plots in some of the areas that we have disked to provide a source of food for the fall. Still, in other portions of the area we are using herbicide to beat back the aggressive Bermuda grass. This summer we’ll continue to monitor our plant communities and try to promote an adequate food base for this fall’s waterfowl season.

Restoration in Unit A

Through the renovation work we’ve restored some of the topographic diversity by re-cutting old sloughs and depressions into the landscape that used to be quite common in this part of the world. We did this by using large mechanical pans instead of by the power of water, which is how these features would have formed naturally. To help kick-start the biological process in these recreated channels, we are helping nature out by seeding the banks. Along the edges of the sloughs that are still holding water we are planting aquatic species like blue flag iris, pickerel weed and mud plantain. In the middle of these sloughs, submergent plants like water star grass, water celery and largeleaf pondweed are being planted. As these pockets of plants become established they will expand and to the diversity of the area. It won’t happen overnight, but it will definitely help the area recover faster in the long run.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

As you can see, just in this short post, the number of activities at Duck Creek is increasing almost as fast as the mercury in the thermometer. Enjoy the heat and stay safe this Memorial Day weekend. Thanks again for your interest in Duck Creek.

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Comments

On June 23rd, 2012 at 10:22pm Bandtaker1 said:

Any progress reports for unit a and b? Any areas nearing completion? Any electric ready to be hooked up? Any decisions on the parking areas? Did you get any rain this past week on the corn in a unit? Teal season is just a short time away!!!

On June 10th, 2012 at 9:31pm MattB said:

Bandtaker, the same contractor is on the job that we had last year.  We have had some changes in sub-contractors due to several reasons, but the main contractor is the same as we had last year.  The punch list is to finish out certain parts of the contract as the contractors complete different areas of the renovation.  The punch list consists of various levees or scours that have slopes that don't match up to the exact grade we asked for, or that don't extend to exactly the right spot that we need them to.  Some of the spillways may need a little more rock, or a structure that needs some touch-up work before we are completely happy with the finished project.  As far as the Canada geese at Duck Creek go, the new renovation work will add some potential nesting sites to the area especailly on units that we hold water on later in the year creating some islands that geese can nest on.

On June 9th, 2012 at 10:34pm Bandtaker1 said:

Rumor mill has it new set of contractors had to be hired to complete the work in unit a and unit b. Any truth to that? And you mentioned a "punch list" that was being worked on. My understanding of a punch list is it is a listing of items/jobs necessary to complete a contract. Could you share what was on the punch list?

On June 6th, 2012 at 9:55pm Anonymous said:

I would like some info on why the Canada's seem to be declining on the area,is it the lack of food,habitat conditions ? My passion is goose hunting, and it seems harder and harder each year to locate good numbers of Canada's. Is there any plans on developing Unit A where it will be more inviting for these birds to use that area ? Years ago MDC placed wash tubs on the north end of Pool 1and the goose numbers were phenomenal, bring back the tubs !!!! The geese need a safe place to raise their brood where predators can't destroy their clutch. You can always up the bag limit if they get out of control,but i doubt that happens,they done it with the Snow's !!

On June 5th, 2012 at 11:23pm Anonymous said:

How are you going to hunt these units? Are there going to be big pools like grandpass where you put several parties in a pool or are they going to be like they used to where they are all surrounded by levees?

On June 4th, 2012 at 12:05pm Anonymous said:

Overall conditions at Duck Creek are dry. The water level in Pool 1 is reflective of where we normally are in August and dropping rapidly. About seventy acres of corn food plots have been planted so far and we are still working in areas where possible. We need some significant precipitation soon to get the corn up and recharge Pool 1.

On June 4th, 2012 at 11:32pm MattB said:

DW, All blinds from Units A and B have been removed due to the renovation.  I do agree that some blind opportunity should be available in these units and it will be in the future.  However, for the next year or two we are not going to place blinds in the units until we get a feel for where the ducks want to use the units and which sites would be the most suitable for blind placement.  The renovation of Unit A and B has completely changed the look of this area, and we want to see how this affects waterfowl use.  What we do not want to have is a blind placed in a spot that gets limited use by waterfowl and becomes nothing more than a token hunting blind.  Please continue to be patient with us as we work our way through the renovation.

On June 2nd, 2012 at 10:22am dwducks said:

you said that they plan to eliminate all blinds in A -unit is there a plan to accomadate hunters with children in those areas { which seem to be the more productive blinds on the area} or have we forgotten the older generation I believe this is a major concern why should we be limited to just pool 2 or 3 where blinds are available i think there should be at the very least a couple blinds in A-unit for equal opportunities for all age groups and oppurtunities for more productive blinds i.e. more birds especially geese because pool 2 and 3 doesnt allow for goose oppurtunities even other mdc areas such as otter slough has blinds available in choice areas to allow chances for both ducks and geese

On June 1st, 2012 at 8:00pm Anonymous said:

Would it be possible to update overall conditions at Duck Creek? Water levels in Pool 1, plantings, etc.

On May 31st, 2012 at 8:37pm MattB said:

DWDucks, Banding Canada geese is always a priority.  Last year we banded nearly 500 geese in SEMO.  At Duck Creek, we did not round up any geese last year due to several reasons.  In order to band geese we have about a 2 week window to band as many geese as possible.  This forces us to high grade our opportunities to get the most bang for our buck (so to speak).  Last year Duck Creek didn't make the cut.  We'll monitor the geese at Duck Creek and see if we get an opportunity to band them this year.  Problem with Duck Creek is that the geese molt on the north end of Pool 1 and it is nearly impossible to capture geese when they are out there.  Especially in low water conditions.  Production appears to be low at Duck Creek this year.  Regardless, we'll make a major effort during the last 2 weeks in June to band as many geese as possible.

On May 31st, 2012 at 5:36pm dwducks said:

just curious if there is a date or a priority to band canada geese this year??? I know last year was a "flop" as the birds weren't able to be rounded up. Also would like to know if your are seeing good numbers of goslings as it seems to be a bumper crop around local ponds in and around Bollinger and Cape counties!!!!

On May 29th, 2012 at 8:24pm MattB said:

Bermuda grass was planted on one of the cross-levees that was put in Unit A several years ago.  This fast growing grass is commonly used to stabilize soils on levees and roadsides.  Unfortunately, it is also an invasive species that takes over areas that are dried out after drawdowns.  We will not be using any Bermuda grass for levee seeding in Unit A or B.  Native grasses will be used for that purpose.

On May 29th, 2012 at 12:24pm Darin said:

Keep up the good work!!!

On May 29th, 2012 at 12:08pm Anonymous said:

jUST CURIOUS HOW did bermuda get in the area?

On May 29th, 2012 at 12:07pm Anonymous said:

MORE PARKING LOTS THATS ALL WE NEED

On May 24th, 2012 at 9:44pm MattB said:

Bandtaker, we are not even completely sure where each individual hunting unit will be for the hunters.  This is all details we'll finalize later this summer as the construction winds down out there and we get to see the finished product.  We want to provide the maximum number of spots out there while still providing room for each party to have a quality hunt.  Many of the main parking lots will remain the same, it will be the access to each individual unit that will be hard to determine.  This fall will be a learning experience for us all, but I can't wait to see it through!  Thanks for your patience.

On May 24th, 2012 at 7:51pm Bandtaker1 said:

HOOOOORAHHHH!!!!!! Absolutely Fabulous!!!! Any ideas where any new parking for hunters will be in the new A and B Unit?
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