This Old House

Published on: Nov. 23, 2011

The holiday season is upon us. It is the time of year when we open up our homes to family and friends. 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. These little enhancements and fixes may not always go as planned or be accomplished in a single weekend, but are nice when they finally get accomplished. Although I’ll always have a “to-do” list, it is during the holidays when I’m most thankful of the progress that I have made.

This Old House: A Home Repair Analogy

In a way, you can think about the Duck Creek renovation much like refurbishing an old house. Renovations take care of cosmetic and functional issues, but typically the bulk of the work stays within the framework of the old foundation. There are endearing portions of the house that bring back a flood of memories, whether it is the front porch that allows you to reminisce about cool autumn breezes and lively conversation, or the kitchen that conjures up sweet aromas of past feasts and family fellowship. To take away these portions of the house would take away its character and feel. In other parts of the house there are the rooms, closets or corners that just don’t make sense. Over the years you’ve made do, but if you could do it over again, it would be done differently. I think this analogy works well for Duck Creek, and I’m going to see how far I can take it. If you’re interested, come along as I go through our renovation blueprints.

The Driveway: Entrance for water onto the area

In 2009, the USACOE started work on the Cato levee water control structure and LRDD started cleaning out the surrounding ditches. Much like having to maintain the crown on a gravel drive and repairing the ruts, the entrance of water to Duck Creek must be periodically maintained. The Cato structure was dysfunctional and has now been completely replaced. Also in the past year LRDD has finished their dredging work along the ditches. The final step along this drainage network is to dress up the sideslopes to minimize erosion and reduce the frequency of maintenance in the future. This work helps reduce the resistance of flow that had built up over the last 50 years between Duck Creek and the Castor River. So in

Key Messages: 

Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt and fish.


On December 2nd, 2011 at 2:43pm Anonymous said:

Darin the reason there are many more ducks on the north end of pool 1 is because of the water depth. Puddle ducks prefer 24 inches of water or less. This also provides more food with warm weather draw-downs. Most people have minimal interest in hunting the ring necks that utilize the south end. It is utterly ridiculous to think that 2 parties on 4 days a week have messed up pool 2 and 3 (many times these positions are not even hunted). You are very accurate in your assessment in the changes in Duck Creek, but this minimal disturbance has not and will not affect duck usage! If you really want more refuge for the area then close the entire at 1:00 (except for the goose only season). This occurs at many areas throughout the state and NO positions are lost. Survey some experienced, successful hunters and see which side they agree with. Thank you.

On December 1st, 2011 at 4:20am Sylvia said:

Hello, I simply wanted to take time to make a comment and say I have really enjoyed reading your site.

On November 30th, 2011 at 4:40pm frank said:

Thanks for the question.  Since the second week of November, Duck Creek has been wet…and by wet, I mean about 8.5-inches-of-rainfall wet.  Needless to say if you’re trying to do dirt work in the bottoms with these conditions you are not going to get very far.  The major dirt work had been completed before the November deluge, but the finish work and the structure installment were still in progress across the work site.  The contractor hasn’t pulled the plug on the project yet, but it looks like they may have to wait until next summer for things to dry out.  We should know what their plans are in the next couple of weeks.    I’ll keep you posted once a decision has been made.

On November 30th, 2011 at 10:58am Anonymous said:

How is it looking for unit a next year, is all the work going to be complete. Could you do a post on thr progress up to this point, havent seen anything in awhile. Thank you

On November 27th, 2011 at 12:55am Darin Hudgens said:

To Anonymous, I have been hunting Duck Creek now for many, many years. I have seen it in it's glory days, so to speak. I do remember the duck blinds on the lake, I used to fish around them when I was a kid, but there have been many changes over the years to the lake since then. I remember when you could not see the other side of the lake from where you drive into Pool 1 entrance because of the timber on the lake. Today it is all but gone and this has had an adverse affect on the ducks and geese using the area over a number of years. From what I see today many of the ducks that use the mid to south end of Pool 1generally stay in the middle of the lake due to hunter traffic on the road and hunting on the lake. My opinion is reduced disturbance means more ducks spread out over the refuge and more likely to use the adjacent woods and fields for food and loafing. The reason I believe this is because the north end of Pool 1 is never disturbed during duck season and look how many ducks stay up there, spread out, and look at the hunting in A unit. Everybody and their brother wants in up there. Make the whole lake a refuge and this will happen to the south end of the lake also. Just my opinion. Darin

On November 23rd, 2011 at 8:05pm Anonymous said:

I bet Darin has not hunted Duck Creek for a long period of time. Pool 1 used to have blinds and be hunted regularly. The impact of two positions that are not hunted regularly is minimal at most! Frank must like to talk just to hear himself talk.

On November 23rd, 2011 at 7:30pm frank said:

That is the plan.  Have a good one.

On November 23rd, 2011 at 1:05pm Darin said:

I believe that if all of Pool 1 will be designated as a refuge, after the renovations are complete, this will create less disturbance to the birds on the lake from traffic and increase the numbers of ducks on the area. I also believe that this in turn will create a higher hunter success rating in Pools 2, 3, 8, and the south fields. Is this a possiblility in the future plan?? Thanks and have a Happy Thanksgiving to the Duck Creek staff.
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