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DATE: December 22, 2001 FILE REF: MMC MIN 120501

TO: Marsh Management Committee

FROM: Andy Nelson, Wildlife Team Leader

SUBJECT: December 5, 2001 Meeting Minutes

Happy Holidays! Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We began our December meeting with a bang when Jim Frey, President Elect of Safari Club International – Wisconsin Chapter announced that his organization was donating $10,000 to the DNR for pothole restoration. The Safari Club is a group of hunters interested in conservation issues and support of hunting opportunities. For information on the organization or the March 1 and 2 fundraising event, call Jim at 262-246-8777. As a result, they have requested that all of their funds be used to restore potholes in the open hunting portions of the Marsh. Watch for this work to get started in late August 2002.

Andy then took a few minutes to provide some management updates. The main event for DNR staff of late has been the deer season. Deer harvest in Dodge County is down this year. While some of the decrease (especially the antlerless portion) did not come as a surprise considering reduced permits, the 29 percent drop in buck harvest was more than expected. Many explanations are floating around. Andy does not have a specific explanation. However, lower harvests are usually due to having fewer deer. In this case, perhaps lower deer numbers and other factors worked in concert to depress the harvest.

We next touched on the water levels around the Marsh. Andy reported that the water in the Main pool is at approximately 75.1 at this time. DNR staff is watching the weather for signs of an impending freeze-up. Just prior to ice-up we will be attempting to maximize water levels to support pothole restoration efforts and over-winter muskrat survival. Raising water to the maximum level too early could cause bog breakage problems.

At the same time, we are lowering water levels slightly in the Bachhuber Flowage. Due to the pump failure in September and slow replacement, our ability to flood the cattails was limited this fall. As a fallback plan, we will be looking to burn the cattail in the spring, then use our new pump to flood the stubble to continue the process of opening up the cattails. We do not believe a 3-6 inch water level drop will affect muskrat survival in the Bachhuber Flowage.

Andy also reported that Wildlife Technicians Duane Ketter and Karl Kramer successfully completed the Miescke Impoundment rearing pond project. As many of you will recall, this project involved adding a new water control structure to improve our ability to use this impoundment for northern pike rearing. This project was made possible by the generous donation of Keith and Betty White. Many thanks to the White’s for their generosity and patience while the permits for this project were processed.

Next, we talked about habitat development opportunities on the Marsh. We spent some time discussing the area around Clark’s Ditch. Based upon review of historical photos, this area has some potential for pothole restoration. However, it was noted that Clark’s Ditch has a draining effect. DNR flow investigations indicate that even under low flow, Clark’s Ditch discharges 5 CFS of groundwater. Finding a way to hold this water up in this corner of the Marsh could yield some positive habitat benefits. In the coming weeks, DNR staff will conduct more investigations of pothole restoration in this area. In the mean time, MMC members are invited to share their own observations of this area and bring suggestions forward.

As we have done for the past several months, we touched on the need for a Fundraising Subcommittee. The purpose of this group would be to expose our project list to individuals or organizations that may have an interest in funding such projects. We are starting to get a nucleus of folks interested in serving on this committee. So far, Todd Cook, Gerald Voy, Jeff Bord, Peter Zeigler, and Gary Kahlhamer have expressed some interest in this effort. If you would like to work with these folks let them know at our next meeting. I anticipate the Fundraising Committee will begin to meet early in 2002.

Since we were once again at the end of our scheduled meetings, the group took a few minutes to set our schedule for the next few months. Please mark your calendars for the following meeting dates:

• Monday February 11

• Tuesday March 5

• Wednesday April 3

Meeting times and location will remain 6:30-9:00 p.m. at the DNR Service Center.

To help disperse the MMC minutes and other related information pertaining to the MMC, Gary Kahlhamer will provide service and space on his website, www.enjoyhoriconmarsh.com. Please check it out. Thanks, Gary!

Our next meeting is Tuesday, January 8 at 6:30 at the DNR Headquarters. This meeting will feature a special “sneak preview” of the proposed Delta Waterfowl Nest Success research study at Horicon. We will have Aaron Hoffman, Study Coordinator, on hand to provide us with information and insights. It should be an interesting evening. I hope you all can join us! And don’t forget to bring a friend! Happy Holidays to all that will not be able to join us!

Our Agenda will include:

  • Management Updates
  • Pre-Final deer Harvest numbers
  • Muskrat Survey Volunteers
  • Nest Success Initiative – Research Study preview with Aaron Hoffman

Attendance:

Jim Frey Don Gregory Craig McKinney Jeff Bord Jim Reinhard Mark Kakatsch Terry Vrana Keith White Robert Miescke Gary Kahlhamer Gerald Voy Todd Cook Andy Nelson

 
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