Marsh Management Committee
FROM: Andy Nelson, Wildlife Team Leader
SUBJECT: September4, 2001 Meeting Minutes
Hi everyone! I hope this note finds
you enjoying the early fall and all
it has to offer. Our September meeting
was a great night. We had a nice crowd,
new and old faces, and we moved quickly
through our agenda. Here are the highlights:
Our meeting began with a series of
informational items and management updates.
Diane Penttila reported that massive
algae blooms have really hurt submerged
plant growth on the federal main pool.
As a result waterfowl use was less than
On the state end, Andy noted similar
water quality problems and reduced waterfowl
use of affected areas. Pothole habitat
continues to be very productive. Planted
wild rice stands did well in Clark’s
Ditch and West Lake. Native rice beds
did well throughout the east side of
DNR crews completed a second burn of
the cattail area east of Steamboat Island.
This area had been burned on July 27th.
The first fire simply killed green stems,
but did not remove them. About 4 feet
of re-growth occurred in the burn unit.
This area was then re-ignited on August
27th. This fire carried through dead
material from earlier fire and scorched
stems. However, the second burn was
hampered by rising water levels which
snuffed the fire’s progress.
In all these burns demonstrated the
feasibility of repetitive burning of
green cattail in the presence of abundant
dead fuel and in the absence of water.
It remains to be seen whether this repetitive
fire regime will result in the decline
of cattail stem density or mat persistence
in this area. Keep your fingers crossed.
Few hunters among the group had reports
from the opening morning of the hunt.
Few geese in the area at this time have
been a problem for hunters and a relief
to local communities.
Andy noted the recent discovery of
the West Nile Virus in Wisconsin. This
is a virus that affects member of the
crow family. Affected animals die quickly.
In other species, including humans,
the effects are usually mild. However
in around 1% of cases can be severe
with affects to the nervous system and
death possible. Persons finding FRESH
dead crows, blue jays, ravens, or hawks
should bring the frozen or refrigerated
carcasses to a local DNR office.
Next, we took a brief talking tour
of the marsh and discussed water levels.
Overall, water levels are on the rise.
Here is quick summary of levels and
Main pool: near maximum level
at this time. Target is 75.1 to 75.2,
or roughly 2 inches below Sept. 4 levels.
I-1 and I-2: Maintaining current
I-3: Raise water with rainfall.
Will rise about 8 inches, then hold
Burnett: Actively pumping. Goal
is to fill to maximum level by October
1. Currently hard to gauge due to sponge
effect of cattail mat.
Greenhead: Currently at Max
level. Beavers are maintaining full
Bachhuber: Currently has about
a foot of water. Goal is to raise by
about 1 foot through pumping. Objective
is to provide over-winter water depth
Goosepond: Currently dry. Will
re-flood by rain and gravity at end
Miescke: Currently dry. Will
re-flood by rainfall. Should fill by
early October, weather permitting.
Andy reported that DNR staff and our
helicopter contractor successfully completed
our second application of herbicide
to selected pothole restoration sites.
In total 50 acres have been treated
for 2 consecutive years. An additional
10 acres were treated for the first
time this year. It appears that the
spraying went well. We’ll know
the full effects next spring as plants
A reminder was given that Delta Waterfowl
Foundation is planning to visit Horicon
Marsh on September 10 to evaluate the
area for a potential nest success study.
Following the tour a public program
will be provided at the HNWR Headquarters.
The event is sponsored by Wisconsin
Trappers Association and Wisconsin Waterfowl
Finally, the group talked about several
fundraising efforts that are ongoing.
The largest effort is the pursuit of
North American Wetlands Conservation
Act (NAWCA) grant funds from US Fish
and Wildlife Service. This 2:1 matching
program has the potential to return
up to $1 million in grant funds for
any wetland restoration or protection
work including grassland buffer or nesting
habitat establishment. Private sector
partners are needed to make this project
feasible. Partners may contribute cash,
in-kind services, habitat restoration
costs, easements, or land donations.
The catch is that the expenditures or
donations must occur between March,
2000 and March, 2004. Please contact
Andy if you or your organization are
interested in becoming a partner.
Next, we talked about an upcoming grant
deadline for Stewardship funds. This
grant enables non-profit organizations
to apply for 1:1 match funds for development
work on state lands. Andy would like
a partner to step forward to sponsor
another 60 acres of cattail spraying
and pothole restoration. The grant deadline
is September 15.
Finally, we discussed the independent
efforts of the MMC to generate funds
for completion of the Redhead Impoundment
rearing pond and wild rice plantings
via habitat sponsor decal sales. Approximately
$135 was generated from sales at the
DU festival. Now, additional sales help
is needed from each MMC member to reach
a modest goal of $1500. At this meeting
a number of members took quantities
of decals with them to sell at their
clubs or among friends. A sign-out list
is tracking quantities and return of
funds. Sale updates will be provided
at each meeting through December.
Our next meeting is scheduled for October
3rd at 6:30 p.m. at the DNR Service
Center on Hwy 28. I look forward to
seeing everyone there!