Working with Water

Duck Creek Stream Restoration

Published on: Feb. 15, 2012

Last month I mentioned that I’d give an update on what things look like in units A and B. Although the contractors have not been able to work since the wet weather began in November, the water has not taken any days off. A major component of the design in units A and B was the replacement of a straight ditch with a meandering stream channel. Check out the video to see why this was done and how the water is currently working on this “naturalized” stream channel.

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On February 28th, 2012 at 1:24pm Darin said:

I agree Experienced, I would not want Pool 8 as a refuge either. I am just inquiring about Pool 1 as a refuge and leaving Pool 2 and 3 and 8 as hunting units. The only other thing that I can think of that might create better success would be to rotate some of the positions to take pressure off of the birds using the area.

On February 27th, 2012 at 7:18pm Experienced said:

Other areas do not have federal refuges next door. Careful what you ask for, you just might get it. I am alright either way(and MDC plans are already set), but I try to represent all hunters interests. I personally do not care if I ever hunt Pool 8 again, but would NOT suggest turning it into a refuge( it could hold an incredible number of ducks for the entire area).

On February 25th, 2012 at 12:10am Anonymous said:

Darin is right, on places like otter slough and grand pass, they have multiple refuges on the area located in different places. If you used some of pool 1, 8, 2 and 3 as refuges, you might be able to hold more birds. The down side of that is that there would be less hunting oppurtunity, but you see that in every conservation area. You have to make sacrafices to make hunting better.

On February 24th, 2012 at 3:41pm Darin said:

Experienced: I just wanted to say, to get the full benefit of using Pool 1 as refuge, and not just the north end, it will definitely help the hunting in Pool 8, 3, and 2. We can clearly see the benefit of the refuge on the north end of Pool 1 in Unit A, B, in the morning, and Blind A1, B1, and E blinds in the afternoon. I love to hunt the lake also, but I am willing to sacrifice the lake, as a whole, to give us ALL a better opportunity for success in the adjacent Pools 2,3, and 8; also including the new fields just aquired by Duck Creek from DU on the east and south side of the area. I believe that not only will this create better hunter/bird success, it will take a lot of hunting pressure off of the birds on the lake/refuge. It will encourage more birds from Mingo; that typically stay on Mingo and never leave; to start using the lake/refuge more so than they do now because of less disturbance. To me less disturbance(rubber necks) + less hunting pressure(boom boom) = greater odds(birds in the bag). This has been a proven method at Otter Slough, and other areas and you can tell by the numbers. Me personally, I am get tired of watching empty skies at Duck Creek and if you have been hunting there for the last several years you know what I mean. We none like change but sometimes it's not just for me, it's for ALL of us that love to hunt at Duck Creek. I hope this gives you a little insight on making Pool 1 a refuge in my opinion. P.S. We all may disagree on some things but ultimately we do not have to divide over them. Happy Hunting!!!

On February 23rd, 2012 at 6:59pm Experienced said:

Darin ever consider Mingo a refuge? If Mingo does not hold ducks then Duck Creek could refuge Pool 2 and the hunting would still be slow! Pool 1 used to have several blinds and the hunting was still successful.

On February 23rd, 2012 at 1:51pm Darin said:

Comment to Experienced: No disturbance around Pool 1 as a refuge will be like no disturbance at Otter Slough's refuge or Ten Mile Pond's refuge. This is part of the reason why these places are so succeful in holding the numbers of birds that they do every year. Duck Creek has plenty of hunting opportunity already and most are not even hunted during the week if you look on the MDC website of this past season. Keeping the disturbance down around these refuges is the key, I think, to holding more birds and therefore could create a higher hunter success rate when birds get up and move around the area. I have hunted these areas also for years and years and this is what I see could produce a higher number of birds holding on the area at Duck Creek. Of course we know that weather plays a big role in migrations but more area for ducks to sit and eat without being disturbed could mean more ducks at the dinner table at home. Just my opinon.

On February 21st, 2012 at 7:58pm Experienced said:

How much of an impact is hunting Pool 1 four days a week (and not always hunted then)? If you are really serious about refuge then close the entire area at 1:00 except during the goose only season. I have hunted Duck Creek 30+ years and have had better luck since the lake was hunted. I have not hunted it in the last two years but appreciate the opportunity in the past. If you start giving up positions you may regret it someday!

On February 19th, 2012 at 1:26am Anonymous said:

Well lets hope that crystal ball works and we'll have a successfull season down there! On another note, I really do think pool 1 should be a refuge. But then again thats a huge lake and divers utilize it, but i would like it either way. And one more question, what was your total harvest number of ducks last year there at duck creek?

On February 18th, 2012 at 4:50pm frank said:

The plan is to finish up the remaining work in Units A and B once it dries out.  Then the electric company will come in re-run the line and hook our wells back up. Unfortunately, I don’t have a crystal ball, but I’d like to think Units A and B will be open this upcoming fall.   

On February 17th, 2012 at 11:19pm Anonymous said:

So will units a and b be open this year? Or will we all have to wait another year?

On February 17th, 2012 at 9:56am frank said:

Yes, the blinds in Units A and B are being removed. As for how we expect it to work, check out one of our previous posts.  Go to Youtube and search for "Duck Creek CA Renovation Part 4".  I think this will answer the rest of your questions.  This can also be found below on the "Other Content You May Like" on the Fall 2011 Renovation Update".

On February 16th, 2012 at 6:23pm Darin said:

I am kind of anxious to see how the birds respond to the area since the alterations. I am very optimistic though that they will get used to the area and settle in over time. I am certain as long as they have food and water for the migration they will be there. One thing to add, if the lake is a refuge without disturbances this will also encourage more birds to use the area. Just my opinion. Keep up the good work guys!!

On February 15th, 2012 at 11:29pm Anonymous said:

Im so glad you guys down at duck creek are doing this. Im looking forward to huntin unit A and B this year as probably everybody else that likes to hunt duck creek is too. This year was deffinatly a down year for us at duck creek but we loved headin out to those timber spots and seeing the wood ducks (that never left) buzz our spread. I know this was probably said already but, will the positions in unit a and b have levees bordering each spot? Will this new ditch work allow the flooding of all units at the beginning of the season? And i imagine that there wont be any blinds in unit a and b this year?

On February 15th, 2012 at 5:55pm frank said:

Good suggestion.  For those of you tuning in, a stream gage is used to monitor how much water is flowing down the stream at a particular location over time.  This can be measured by determining the height of the water’s surface at one spot along a stream.  For example, today the Castor River’s gauge near Zalma is at a height of 5 ft.   At flood height, the Castor at this location I believe it is closer to 12 ft.  Another measurement that is taken periodically is discharge.  This estimate is done occasionally to calculate the actual volume of water going down the stream because over time the stream may become deeper, shallower, wider, or narrower which then affects the water's height.  The periodic discharge estimate helps hydrologists tweak the stream gage information to make sure it allows them accurately estimate predicted flood levels despite these changes.  USGS has been using stream gages since 1889 and currently has over 7,000 in operation nationwide.  These gages are very helpful in understanding how streams function and relate to the surrounding landscape. You can see USGS stream gages in Missouri at  For the national database go to The US Army Corps of Engineers also has stream gage website at

On February 15th, 2012 at 4:55pm Butler Stringfield said:

Excellent. I do think that for the average viewer who has not had any contact with hydrology the term "stream gage" should have been defined or clarified.
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