While most folks may think that March Madness only applies to the NCAA basketball tournament. Here are a few reasons it could apply to Duck Creek CA as well.
At this time of year it is really hard to stay indoors when the sun is shining. Pool 1 is open, and the emergent vegetation hasn’t broken the water’s surface yet. With a few more warm days, the bluegill and crappie will really start hitting; however, I’ve already heard a few reports that folks haven’t been disappointed with what they are reeling in.
The mild temperatures and recent rains have ushered in an early spring. The maples have already blossomed with the redbuds close behind. It won’t be long before the forest overstory will take on a green hue as leaf-out begins. With the ensuing warm conditions, folks will soon start scouring the forest floor for the first crop of mushrooms.
The amphibians and reptiles, also known as herptiles, have also responded to the weather. Red-eared sliders can be seen basking on the logs along the edges of the pool…and crossing the road, so please watch out and steer clear of these slow critters. The recent rains have also flooded up small isolated pools within the higher portions of the timber. This is where the spotted salamanders and mole salamanders start collecting in order to meet and greet and create the next generation.
In the previous two posts I’ve already mentioned the waterfowl activity on the area, but I’ll state it again. Dabbling and diving ducks are scattered throughout the area looking sharp as they rest and refuel before continuing on their spring migration. Canada geese and white-fronted geese are also out and about and can be seem loafing on the area. Finally, the colorful plumage of Missouri’s own breeding waterfowl can be seen as hooded mergansers and wood ducks dart through the wooded sloughs near their nesting cavities.
Whether it is to do some bird watching, go fishing or just take in the sights, you may see some activity on Ditch 1 as you make the turn at Pool 1’s southwest corner. The road and ditch bank on the west side of Pool 3 has been in disrepair over the last few years. We have started to address this problem with the help of the Little River Drainage District. Over the last two weeks they have been peeling back the ditch bank so that it will be easier to maintain and less likely to sluff back into the ditch.
Later this summer they will continue to work north along the western perimeter of Pool 1. At this time they are just working next to Pool 3, so re-routing traffic isn’t necessary. However, once LRDD does move north we will have to re-route traffic for a couple weeks to make sure we stay out of their way. We will have signs posted at this time, but wanted to give you a heads up.
The renovation work in the basin has been made possible through the help of partners and the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). During the last few years we have focused on the scope of work lined out in our first NAWCA grant proposal, Mingo Basin Partnership I (MBP I).
Early last year Mingo National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and Ducks Unlimited (DU) submitted a proposal for work farther south in the basin. They too were approved for their grant (MBP II). Currently, they are working on engineering plans for their scope of work.
Following Mingo’s grant approval, MDC submitted another proposal to NAWCA last summer. Last week, the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission met and gave their final approval of this third grant. Our engineers are working hard to finish the plans for this next stage so that we can continue to push forward.
As you can see, by taking turns with Mingo NWR and working with our other partners, such as Ducks Unlimited, we have been able to give the Mingo Basin the attention that it has needed to address the aging infrastructure and improve our management capabilities. These efforts will help us ensure the continued value and use of this bottomland wetland system and the resources that rely on it.
No matter what your interest, if you like the outdoors, there is probably something on Duck Creek that will tickle your fancy. March is a great time of year and things are definitely busy. Thank you for your continued patience and support over the last few years as we continue the renovation work. I hope you can get out and enjoy the area as March looks like it is going to be beautiful month.