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2011

'Tis the Season

'Tis the season to get together with family and friends … even those who we may not always see eye to eye with. In a similar vein, that is what the North American Conservation Wetlands Act is about.

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Mingo NWR Public Meeting: Hunting Opportunity

Mingo National Wildlife Refuge is developing a hunting plan and wants your input.

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26 comments

This Old House

If you’re like me, over the year you’ve tinkered on a couple home-improvement projects or have done some repair work to keep things in working order. In a way, you can think about the Duck Creek renovation as refurbishing an old house. I think this analogy works well for Duck Creek, and I’m going to see how far I can take it.

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Delay in flooding Pool 8

If you’ve being keeping up with the blog, we’ve mentioned flooding Pool 8 in November a couple of times. The decision to flood has been delayed, and we wanted to pass this along to keep you informed.

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Recharging the ole batteries

I don’t know about you, but this time of year recharges my batteries.

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10 comments
Closeup view of green pin oak leaves

Flash In The Pin

In the last month we collected data in the timber at Duck Creek, Mingo and a few of our other forested conservation areas in Southeast Missouri. While I was out there, I saw something that caught my eye.

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Duck Creek CA pool

Waterfowl Hunting Update

Here is our latest update on waterfowl hunting positions available for the opening weekend at Duck Creek Conservation Area.

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Fall 2011 Renovation Update

I realize folks will be checking in as we get closer to waterfowl season. I thought I'd try something new in attempt to bring everyone up to speed.

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Youth Waterfowl Weekend

Waterfowl hunting will be available for youth hunters age 15 and younger on Saturday, Oct. 22 and Sunday, Oct. 23 at Duck Creek Conservation Area.

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3 comments
Graph showing 2011 mast crop summary for Duck Creek CA

2011 Mast Survey: Another Nutty Year

It is that time of year again. Let's see how nutty things are at Duck Creek.

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20 comments
aquatic plants in cul-de-sac wetland

Dirt Today, Teal Tomorrow

While Duck Creek doesn’t typically provide much teal-hunting opportunity, in the coming years we should be able to increase the amount of teal-friendly habitat during this time of year.

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24 comments
Resloped area between road and ditch

Progress Update: Pool 2 Road

I mentioned last month that the Duck Creek renovation has been reminding me of renovating a house. House improvement projects, at least in my experience, don’t always go as quickly or as smoothly as planned. Progress occurs, but the completion of the work doesn’t always happen when you had originally intended.

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3 comments
Photo of dirt pan construction at Duck Creek CA.

August 2011 Progress Report: Units A and B Renovation

Conditions were extremely dry at the end of July when the dirt work began in Units A and B. It was great to get things moving forward. Over the last few weeks the isolated thunderstorms have knocked the dust back down and allowed for the soil to pick up some much needed moisture.

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18 comments
Closeup photo of biologist putting a metal band on a wood duck's leg

Summer Wood Duck Banding 2011

This year we have continued to trap and band wood ducks at Duck Creek to help with efforts to monitor the breeding population of wood ducks on our managed wetland areas.

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5 comments

Duck Creek Waterfowl Hunting Outlook 2011-2012

It is getting close to fall, and folks are looking forward to waterfowl season. Here is Duck Creek’s outlook for the 2011-2012 season based on the current rate of construction and water levels in Pool 1.

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25 comments
Photo shows American lotus flower pod at Duck Creek CA

One man's trash...

A couple weeks ago I went into detail about the aquatic plants in Pool 1. Over the last 10 years American lotus has expanded in parts of the lake. The expansion of this plant is an annoyance to anglers and a concern for biologists. However, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. From this perspective I thought it would be interesting to explore some of the other uses of this plant.

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Photo of lotus in pool at Duck Creek CA

Too Much of a Good Thing

Pool 1 and the plants that call it home are definitely a challenge to manage and fish through. However, this very habitat is why folks have filled their coolers with fish over the last 60 years.

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10 comments
Photo of fish salvage focus area map

Short-Term Fishing Opportunity, Long-Term Waterfowl-Hunting Opportunity

We are having a fish salvage between now and Aug. 15 at the five fish ponds on the east side of Duck Creek, approximately 0.7 mile south of the main Duck Creek entrance along Highway 51. These ponds will be drained shortly, and we would like to maximize the public use of this resource.

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3 comments
photo of moist soil plants at Duck Creek CA

Dirty Deeds

The temperature isn’t the only thing heating up around Duck Creek this summer. The construction activity on the area is also increasing.

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8 comments

Pool 1 still accessible over the 4th: Re-routing Traffic

If you’re traveling over this holiday weekend and are heading towards Duck Creek with intentions to fish Pool 1 and enjoy the area, we’d love to have you. We are in the middle of some construction work on the bridge that crosses from Pool 2 to Pool 1 and are currently re-routing traffic around the main entrance road.

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9 comments
Image of a bowfin

Bowfin Factoid

After the fun of field work follows the drudgery of data entry. It is the necessary evil of collecting and utilizing information. However, this is all part of the scientific process and can lead to further understanding of the ecology of critters. Over the last few weeks I came across some Duck Creek history and a couple cool nuggets of knowledge from previous research that I thought I'd pass on.

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Two photos show before and after flooding near Kinder

Back on Track

You could say last month was a little slow in regards to renovation activities. However, with the water going down (see pictures) and a few other items moving forward, we’ve shifted gears and are moving forward full speed ahead.

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Comparison of the 2011 flood event

You might ask, “So how did this year’s event compare to other flood events?” Well, I dug up some information to try and put things in perspective. The average rainfall in April and May is 9.5 inches. This, of course, varies from year to year. Surprisingly, last spring was average (we received 9.36 inches), but after that the bottom dropped out and we spent the rest of the year in a serious drought…which, by the way, I think it is safe to say we are out of the woods.

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Photo of a netful of bowfin fingerlings

Flood Pulse: Wetland Health Check-Up

I’ve discussed before that one of our Duck Creek renovation goals is to reconnect historic drainages when possible. During flood events several spillways and low water crossings will help facilitate this. Well, in the last month Mother Nature reconnected the whole basin, spillways or not, during this historic flood event. Over the last two weeks we’ve gone out and have taken a look to see what kind of critters are out and about and utilizing these connected habitats.

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Aerial photo of flooding on Duck Creek CA's Pools 1,2 and 3

April Showers at Duck Creek

Like much of southeast Missouri, Duck Creek has received a substantial amount of rain since last Friday (more than a foot of precipitation)...

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9 comments

Active April

The weather patterns aren’t the only things that have been active during this past month. Hopefully, you’ve been able to get out in between the rain events to take advantage of mushrooms, turkeys and fish. Along with the bounty of spring, we’ve been quite busy with renovation activities.

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photo of spoonbill wading

Spoonie Sighting!

That’s right, we’ve had a spoonbill sighting at Duck Creek. Now if you’re a duck hunter, you might wonder why I am making a big fuss about a Northern Shoveler. We get those all the time. If you’re a fisherman, you might think I’m referring to a paddlefish, which would be kind of cool to find at the end of your line in Pool 1, extremely unlikely, but cool if it happened. Well, I’m not referring to either one of these species.

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Mud Hens, Money Markets, and Marsh Management

As I drove around Duck Creek last week I was excited about spring migration and this summer’s renovation to Units A and B. In different parts of the area I observed a variety of species keying in on different water conditions as we begin to draw down the area.

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Reminder: Zone Boundary and Season Dates Meeting

Just a reminder that tonight is the Dexter meeting and tomorrow is the Kennett meeting for the duck season dates and zone boundaries. We take a look at these every five years.

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Spring Activity on Duck Creek

It is officially spring, and you can definitely tell if you have been out to Duck Creek recently. The wildlife are moving about, and so has Little River Drainage District.

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Water Flowing Into Pool 1

Watered-down Success

Well, the rain finally came … about four months late in some respects, but it came. This last weekend’s rain was the most precipitation Duck Creek has received this winter. We received just a shade under 3 inches, while folks 30 miles south of us picked almost twice that much. So what happened with the water levels at Duck Creek?

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8 comments

We are not alone

A lot of species travel considerable distances. This winter Mallards and Mountain Lions have been in the spotlight. As temperatures warm up other critters will also be moving around to take advantage of wetland habitats.

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Duck Season Dates and Zone Boundaries Workshops

MDC is hosting 15 workshops across the state to gather hunter input on duck season dates and zone boundary locations during the months of March and April.

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9 comments

A look at the coming year: Challenges and Opportunities at Duck Creek

I just wanted to check in with folks and lay out what we can expect in the next year. I also wanted to address some common questions that we get about different parts of Duck Creek.

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15 comments
photo of cato levee earth work

Work in Progress, January 10, 2011: Cato Levee and Highway C

Despite the cold temperatures and the holidays, work moved forward in December for the Duck Creek Renovation projects.

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