TO: Marsh Management Committee
FROM: Andy Nelson, Area Wildlife Supervisor
SUBJECT: July 8, 2003 Meeting Minutes
Wow! Our summer is just flying by!
As I write this the flyway conferences
are wrapping up and we’ll soon
see final proposals on season length
and bag limits for the fall hunt.
At our July meeting we had some great
discussion on several important topics.
To begin, we started talking timber
with Dodge County Forester, Randy Stampfl.
Randy explained that recent field investigations
of the One Mile Island and Raddatz Woods
on Palmatory Street revealed both areas
were in need of management efforts to
stimulate oak regeneration. Much of
the following conversation centered
on the Palmatory Street woods, as this
8 acre stand sits at the hiking trail
head and encompasses a portion of our
public hiking trail system.
Randy explained that the trees in this
woodlot are approximately 140 years
old and are nearing the end of their
lifespan. Other species of trees are
very sparse. Randy noted that many ash
trees had died in recent years. As a
result of the oak’s in ability
to grow in shade and a lack of other
species in the woods, there is no regeneration
occurring at this time.
Oak regeneration is a very serious
concern around the state as little regeneration
is occurring at this time. This is due
to timber management practices which
do not favor shade-intolerant species
like oak and aspen.
To help regenerate oaks on the marsh
property for their wildlife value, timber
production, and aesthetic value, Randy
is recommending two phase timber harvest
strategy for both areas. The first phase
would remove all trees but about 10
mature oaks per acre. The trees which
would remain are currently marked in
the woods. Following this harvest we
would foster oak regeneration by:
• Relying on acorns to seed new
• Burning slash and leaves to
control brush competition
• Plant seedling oak stock from
• Foster other desireable tree
species for moderate stand diversity
In about 5-10 years aafter the initial
harvest and when strong regeneration
is assured, the remaining mature oaks
will be removed to allow the young forests
This plan was debated and a number
of questions were raised about various
aspects of the plan and different management
options. After this discussion, there
was general consensus of support to
implement this plan. However, due to
the prominence of the Palmatory woods,
in particular, Andy indicated that he
would re-visit the matter again in August
to allow other folks a chance to check
out the timber markings and talk about
Andy provided a quick batch of management
updates. These include:
Bachhuber dike rip rap and gravel surfacing
is complete. Many thanks to the Bachhuber
Foundation for providing $18,000 to
complete this work.
Andy reported that staff had taken
action to address neighboring water
concerns. The I-3 water level had been
lowered in response to complaints from
Ed Miescke about impacts to his land.
As of our meeting, the I-3 level had
been reduced to below the crest of the
Hwy 28 water control structure. Since
this crest has been held constant since
the 1980’s, this should result
in a return to “normal”
water levels on the east side of the
To the West side, Andy reported that
staff had been pumping water to alleviate
flooding by Dobberpuhl’s. This
pumping has reduced the level by 6 inches
and has returned the water to the confines
of state land.
Andy submitted a grant proposal to
the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
for $90,000 to purchase a Marsh master
and conduct cattail spraying. We should
find out results by August.
Carp numbers are down. No spot killing
opportunities this year as concentrations
of fish were absent, even at dams. Remaining
carp are large, indicating good health.
Hopefully, hard winter ice conditions
and other factors are controlling them.
Overall habitat conditions look moderate.
Scattered beds of submerged plants and
good rice growth promise modest food
stocks in fall. Fall flooding should
provide access to good food in older
spray sites. Steamboat spray area has
re-colonized with bulrush and cattail.
It will be interesting to see if muskrat
feeeding will maintain this diversity
and small openings after it is flooded.
DNR’s basic Horicon Wildlife
budget is going to be reduced another
20 percent in upcoming year. Virtually
all habitat work will cease except for
that funded by special projects, grants,
or donations. If the NACA or NFWF grants
fail, Technician Karl Kraner will be
like the Maytag repair man.
One such special project that should
be accomplished is upgrades at the Greenhead
and Burnett boat landings. This work
will include boarding piers, information
centers, and some grading. This work
will be funded by Sport Fish Restoration
dollars, collected from gas tax.
Wendy Wyoczik from USFWS provided us
with a great set of updates from the
Refuge. These included:
Fall hunting seasons will be similar
to years past. The Refuge is considering
some changes to expand deer hunting
opportunities. Spring turkey is not
feasible at this time due to administrative
issues with potential conflicts to nesting
season. However, Wendy is open to considering
expanded hunting opportunities in the
future. Waterfowl hunting on the Refuge
is NOT up for discussion at this time.
Refuge staff completed the annual Pelican
and Cormorant survey. Pelicans nests
increased from 300 last year to 512
in 2003. Most nests had 2 chicks. The
birds also expanded geographically,
by starting to nest in the midst of
a large cattail mat. Previously nesting
was restricted to a few small spoil
banks. This new development shows that
the colony will not be limited by available
nesting sites. Considering breeding
pairs, non-breeding adults, and young
of year, the total pelican colony is
estimated to be 5,000 birds. Additionally,
the cormorant colony is estimated to
be 1,500 birds. Combined these fish-eating
colonies are probably contributing mightily
to the carp control effort.
Wendy also noted that as she looks
to the future, she would like to work
with DNR to develop the habitat south
of the Main Dike. This rank stand of
cattail has potential for flowage development.
When time and funding become available,
USFWS and DNR will pursue cooperative
management opportunities in this area.
Finally, we discussed the matter of
dogs and hiking trails on the Bachhuber
dike, Indemuhle Island, and Quick’s
Point. Historically, dogs have not been
permitted on Quick’s Point trails
due to concerns over droppings and conflicts
to users. Conversely, dogs have always
been free to roam the other portions
of the Marsh, except during nesting
season when all dogs must be on an leash
no more than 8 feet long. With the opening
of the Bachhuber and I-3 dikes for hiking,
there has been some confusion about
where dogs may travel as hikers may
get different messages, depending up
where they access the trail system.
This is further complicated by hunters
using the trail system to access hunting
sites in the fall.
After some involved discussion, the
group recommended that DNR post all
trails as requiring dogs to be on a
leash no more than 8 feet long. Dogs
must also be leashed throughout the
property during nesting season. In other
areas, including Indemuhle Island, dogs
do not have to be leashed outside of
the April 15- July 15 nesting season.
Once again, the group wanted to give
all parties a chance to think on this
one. So, we will revisit the topic in
August to see what, if any new opinions
and information comes to light.
Many thanks to Cheryl Kakatsch for
providing treats again! They were great.
Thank you also to Barbara Dutkiewicz
for volunteering to provide treats in
August! Please consider volunteering
to share some sweets, sausage, or other
snacks for our September meeting!
Our next meeting will be August 12th
at 6:30 p.m. at the DNR Service Center
on Hwy 28. All are welcome, so please
join in and bring a buddy or 2.
Our agenda will include:
Prescribed Burn report
Quick’s Point timber management
Clark’s Ditch management opportunities
Noel Nogalski Randy Stampfl Stuart
Jack Williams Don Miescke Ed Miescke
Ken Byrne Pat Byrne Robert Miescke
Norman Langlois Wayne Bandler Duane
Russ Sobczyk Terry Vrana Peter Ziegler
Dean Schaeffer Tom Schnaderbeck Gerald
Cheryl Kakatsch Mark Kakatsch Todd Cook
Wendy Woyczik Keith White Andy Nelson