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.
Over time, habitat quality has changed on Duck Creek. Likewise, hunting opportunity and quality has also decreased in certain locations. Part of this is because 60 years ago we didn't understand the complexity and role of variability within wetland systems, especially in bottomland hardwoods. Things have not only changed on Duck Creek, but the surrounding landscape has also changed over time (land use, habitat, water use, etc.). These factors have had their affect on waterfowl and other species.
2010 and 2011
During the fall of 2010, weather, worn out infrastructure, and construction limited hunting opportunity in the timber (Pools 2, 3, 8). For those of you that did get out to hunt on Duck Creek, we had some pretty successful days. I hope you were able to take part.
As we proceed through our renovation, where and how many hunting positions will change as projects start and finish. In the fall of 2011, it is highly unlikely that Unit A and B will be flooded due to renovation activities. However, weather providing, we should be able to flood and hunt Pools 2 and 3 in fall of 2011. Like many challenges today, there is not a silver bullet answer to the “problems” of Duck Creek because of complex issues (social, economic, and ecological). Nevertheless, this is a great opportunity to apply what we’ve learned in the past, continue to manage for the resource, and benefit our users for years to come.
The purpose of Pool 1 has evolved over the years as limitations and opportunities have been realized. It was initially managed as a greentree reservoir, but due to the seasonal precipitation pattern of the region, it was quickly turned into a water reservoir. The stored water is used to flood Pools 2 and 3 for waterfowl hunting. Because of the permanently flooded conditions in Pool 1 a tremendous fishery developed. Over the years it has been a balancing act to maintain a minimum pool level for the fisheries, while still having enough water to flood Pools 2 and 3. The timing of when we receive water and when we distribute it to the other pools will not change, however, our renovated water delivery system (Ditch 111, and series