Duck Creek CA UpdatesMore posts

Waterfowl Opener at Duck Creek, November 3rd

Oct 30, 2012

With the opener fast approaching, Duck Creek staff are busy getting all their ducks in a row so to speak. It never ceases to amaze me at how many little things have to be done just to get ready for the season. On top of that, this year has the added challenge of placing hunters into the completely redesigned Units A and B! There are always a few glitches in the best laid plans.  We encountered and fixed a few of these this weekend during the youth season. As the season starts, we welcome any suggestions you have on how we can get folks out to their designated spot as easily as possible. One thing I can promise you…It is going to be different than it has been in the past!

Available Positions

Now on to the available positions for opening day, we have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that Units A and B are being flooded as planned. We will not have all the units open, but considering the late start, we’ve made some considerable progress. As of Tuesday October 30th, we will have the following hunting positions available this weekend:

Unit A:      8    10    11    13    14    15    16    18

Unit B:    52    54     55

Other Units:    Fish Ponds    Kinder Pool    Dark Cypress (4 days/week)

At the bottom of the page is a link to our hunting units map, if you are interested in how these spots lay out.

We will continue to flood units 19, 20, 21, and 22 but it is unlikely that we will have enough water in these units for opening day. Positions 23 and 53 will be dependent upon rainfall.

The bad news is that continued dry conditions, and the forecasted persistent drought will keep us from putting any water into Pools 2, 3, and 8 at this time. After discussions with our fisheries staff, we will be taking a conservative approach to using water from Pool 1. As rains come in the future we will split any inflow between Pools 1, 2, and 3. We continue to have all stop log structures in Pools 2 and 3 and the gate up in Ditch 111 to capture as much rainfall as possible. However, it will take a number of significant rainfalls to fill our Pools because an inch here and a quarter inch there hasn’t done much in the past month.

Other Details

As a reminder, in Units A and B there are no blinds available. The new design is better suited for small boats capable of floating in shallow water. All positions in Units A and B will close at 1 pm. Also, all of Pool 1 will be refuge. The morning draw for Saturday will start at 4:45am and then it will be at 3:45am on Sunday because of the time change.

Overall, having 13 positions available for opening day is better than we had predicted two weeks ago. In other positive news, the birds have moved onto the area and are using the newly flooded habitat. Good luck and be safe.


Flooded Distribution Channel and Unit 18
Flooded Distribution Channel and Unit 18
The muddy water in the center of the photograph is from dabbling ducks foraging in the shallow water.


The New Unit A
The New Unit A
Recreating a network of sloughs allows us to feather water out across Unit A.


Flooded Habitat in Unit B
Flooded Habitat in Unit B
Previous to the renovation Unit B relied on precipitation to flood the waterfowl hunting positions.


Just to clear a couple of issues up.  The boats are placed where they will remain.  I realize it looks a little confusing that we have boats at Pools 2 and 3 with no water, however we all know that water conditions change in an instant here in SEMO.  We want to be ready to get into the timber as soon as possible.  We have a very limited supply of boats and we will use those boats to access Pools 2 and 3 as we have traditionally.  The pools in Unit A and B are set up for a wade and shoot and it will be up to you to navigate those pools either by foot or with a small boat of your own.  Only position 18 has a boat provided because it's access is via the distribution channel that is too deep to wade.  MDC provided boats are not common on our managed waterfowl areas.  We feel that it is not asking too much to have the public come prepared to hunt ducks in a shallow open marsh unit via their own small boat or by wading in by foot.

Wow good job boys I noticed pool 2 has boats at all the blinds now. Any idea when we will have some water in pool 2 or 3? I-1, K-1, and K-2 had small V-Bottom boats that would be Ideal for hunting in Unit A. Any chance of those boats being placed where the hunting is NOW!!!???

There are many methods to hunt waterfowl; from a stationary blind, from a big boat or a small layout boat, leaning up against a tree, sitting on a bucket in a patch of thick vegetation or food plot, and the list can go on.  There are pluses and minuses to each.  For example, being restricted to a blind location could prevent you from moving your decoys to a location where “the birds want to be”. On the flipside, hunting from a blind can be more convenient.  Hunting style preference can depend upon a lot of things from day to day or hunter to hunter and I don’t believe that is up for debate.   The department as a whole tries to provide a diversity of hunting opportunities.  Granted, the drought has limited our ability to do this at Duck Creek this year. Trust me, I wish there was something more we could do.  The old blinds in Unit A were in bad shape.  Additionally, with the reconfiguring of the levees, there was potential to put them in better locations, but we couldn’t do that until we observed how the birds were using the area.  This takes time, which I know doesn’t help this season, but it is something to think about in the future. Will we put blinds in every unit?  Probably not, as we try to meet the diversity of hunting style preferences, but we do plan on putting a few back in.  I hope this helps, have a good Thanksgiving.

So you took out all the blinds to make it for better hunting? What was wrong with replacing the blinds and or just leaving them there? It is not all that desirable to hunt out of your Four River Layout boats, nor will it make the hunting any better.

is it a neccisary to have a bout to hunt at duck creek? obviously its easier but i was wondering if its a must i dont mind walking but i live about an hour away and have never hunted there before?

If you wish to encourage the next generation of duck hunters make it easier for them to hunt by PROVIDING THE BOATS YOU HAVE AVAILABLE THAT OUR TAX DOLLARS PAID FOR. Anonymous children should be seen not heard.

What about reservations starting dec 1'st how many spots r gona be for the poor line when this happins??

Most MDC areas do not provide boats for duck hunting. Go out and get a used boat on Craiglist!!! OR just suck it up and start walking.

If my memory is not completely shot boats were supplied for Blinds 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 48S, and H Pool in Unit A. That would be 10 boats. I understand most of them were huge river barges but I beleive they could still be used in Field 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18. Yes I know there is one at 16-18. We should be given the opportunity to at least try to use those boats. Any chance of that happening?

What is the current lake level? What level is needed to start releasing water into pool 2 and 3?

Is any water being diverted into Pool 2 or Pool 3 from the lake?

How many boats do you have?

19, 20, and 21 are all open and have huntable water.  20 has as much water as we can put into it.  Boats are limited on the area, and we do not have enough for every unit to have.  We will continue to manage our boats across the area as well as we can.  We received 1.7 inches of rain on Duck Creek Sunday night.  Pool 1 raised 0.1 feet after this rain.

Rain totals for Duck Creek? Did it add a significant amount of water?

Hi. Does Pool 19 have a puddle, a pool, or is it full and ready to hunt? Same question for 20 and 21? Will there be any additional boats added for use in Unit A?

A small boat for blind 10 and 11 would also be nice!

It would be great if you placed a smaller boat to use at the new Field 16 area.

I don’t have an exact date, but I think it would be possible in the next week or two.  We started putting water into 20 last week and I believe Keith was going to start flooding 19 today.  After those units have enough water, units 21 and 22 will follow suit.

Any prediction when 19 20 21 22 will be ready to hunt?

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