Scum of the Earth

Clusters of Yellow-Green Algae

Published on: Jul. 10, 2012

So at the beginning of May I was checking on things out at Duck Creek and stumbled upon something I hadn’t encountered before. Originally, my attention was attracted to the drops of dew clinging to the spider webs on the surface of a mudflat in Unit A. I took out my camera, switched on the macro function and got down on my belly to take a few photos. From this new point of view I began to notice something else that was intriguing…little green orbs or spheres scattered across the top of the ground. You could almost call them clusters of tiny grapes ranging from 0.5-2 mm in diameter.

I started looking around and saw there were quite a few of these small circular structures clinging to the moist soil surface. I guessed they were some sort of algae, but thought it would be fairly easy to identify once I sent my photos around. Later that day I was out at Dark Cypress, and once again my attention was drawn to the mudflats. This time I was intrigued by a small pink mite. This little bug was racing around too fast for me to get an adequate picture, but the camera did capture more small green spheres. With my bare eyes, I could barely make them out; but other than their small stature, they appeared to be similar to what I had seen in Unit A.

Internal Inquiry

I sent them to our ombudsman, Tim Smith, and got a couple suggestions from folks within the central office, but nothing definitive. I also sent a couple inquiries to several university professors. I was told I needed to take a closer look under the microscope to see the filaments of this species for proper identification.

That next week I went back out to Duck Creek in an effort to grab some samples for the lab. The continued heat and evaporation had caused the distribution of mudflats to shift, but after some searching I was able to find the green spheres of algae. However, you couldn’t just roll them off of the mudflat without popping them. They were like balloons shallowly rooted in the soil. I cut a thin slab of mud that had a good patch of orbs on top and brought them back to the lab.

Under the microscope, I couldn’t find the filaments that I was supposed to find to help in my identification. All I

Key Messages: 

We help people discover nature.


On July 25th, 2012 at 10:22pm Ryan Goddard said:

I know you guys have already thought of this, but please, please don't try to cram to many spots in the new area. A few less spots can sure allow more quality hunting. Come on teal teason!

On July 24th, 2012 at 12:31pm cordek said:

There have been discussions of great length and much consideration of installing wells to supply water for Pool 1.  It has been determined the number of wells required to recharge this reservoir would be financially unfeasible to install, operate and maintain. There is also concern of depleting the local aquifer by removing so large a quntity of  ground water.  Pool 1 will continue to be recharged by surface runoff and overflow from the local watershed and the Castor River. 

On July 24th, 2012 at 11:29am cordek said:

Darin, There is definite possibility there will be teal hunting opportunity available in Units A and B.  We are still waiting for the completion of the electric control boxes to the wells and final connection to the electric supply lines.  This should be completed soon and I am anxious as anyone to start getting some water on the ground.  I'll let you all know as soon as I know myself what we will have available.  Thanks for your continued interest and support!

On July 24th, 2012 at 4:06am Anonymous said:

will there ever be a point that the main lake will be so low you would consider putting water "back" into the lake using the wells? i remember somewhere in the early 80's that it got so low it was very difficult to get out into the center of the lake.

On July 23rd, 2012 at 7:58pm Darin said:

With duck numbers up this year on all but a few species, blue wing teal numbers continue to sky rocket up to near similar mallard numbers. Is there any possibility with the new pumping capabilities there will be teal hunting available in the A and B units this year? Season is closing in on us fast and it won't take much cool weather up north to push the birds down this way.....considering these small ducks are the first to migrate as early as August. Thanks!!

On July 20th, 2012 at 12:46pm cordek said:

At the current rate of loss of water in Pool 1 reservoir, it is unlikely there will be sufficient water to flood any of Pools 2,3 or 8 until fall rains arrive.  The electric line has been laid to all six wells in Unit A and B but we are still relying on the electrical contractors to finish the control boxes before the line can be energized.  We need to ensure the wells work and water can be diverted as designed before designating available hunting positions.  This should happen within the next two to three weeks.  After we know for sure we have pumping capability, we will post an update concerning available hunting positions.  Thanks for your continued interest in the Duck Creek renovation project.

On July 20th, 2012 at 9:48am Anonymous said:

Any idea how many spots there may be this year at Duck Creek? With Quick Draw being extended again this year at only the same 3 spots. Increased pressure at the Non-Quick Draw areas will continue, and Just wondering if it will even be worth it this year to head down there.

On July 16th, 2012 at 1:49pm JimG said:

Very interesting, amazing what can be discovered when you ask yourself what the heck is that?
Shortened URL