DATE: September 22, 2003 FILE REF:
TO: Marsh Management Committee
FROM: Andy Nelson, Area Wildlife Supervisor
SUBJECT: August 12, 2003 Meeting Minutes
Hello! I hope these early days of the
2003 waterfowl campaign have provided
the makings for a memorable season.
Our September meeting began with a
quick rundown on management updates
from the HNWR. Refuge Biologist Wendy
Wyoczik reported that water levels are
of concern. In total the Refuge has
5 pools low with 2 being empty at this
time. Lack of water means it will be
difficult to flood Teal pool to make
food available to birds. Also, the Main
pool is getting dangerously low. This
pool has a history of botulism problems.
Unless rains come soon, we may have
Late summer shift / migration is underway
with duck numbers building. Green-wing
teal are showing up already. Whooping
crane is still hanging around. FWs Regional
expert coming to advise on shorebird
So far no botulism problems reported
on state end. Beaver Dam Lake had a
possible case, but so far nothing confirmed.
Rain will help eliminate this threat.
Andy reports that the contract for
boat landing improvements has been awarded.
However, the contractor has not begun
to work. No word from DNR engineers
on when the project will begin. Hopefully
this will not interfere with hunting!
The MBC grant application for funds
to purchase a Marsh Master has been
shelved. Due to budget reductions, DNR
can not pledge its portion of the match
funds for the proposal. As a result,
we will have to wait to apply until
next year or later.
Water level on the state end remains
low. FWS has no water to send to us.
Horicon Dam was closed on 8/26. At that
time water level was 74.1. As of 9/12,
level had FALLEN to 73.95. High temps
and no inflow means water is continuing
to drop in the marsh. Much rain will
be needed to raise level to target level
of 75.3 for season. Low water means
navigation is very difficult outside
of main channels. Most side channels,
including Cotton Island channel are
Andy reports wild rice had another
good year on east side of the Marsh.
Cotton Island ponds and other sloughs
are packed full of rice. I-1 and I-2
impoundments are dry, but loaded with
food. If rains come, it will be a duck
feast! Even with low water, duck use
is on rise.
Thanks to Jim Reinhard, we have mailboxes
to put at boat landings. An information
flyer regarding burning, spraying, and
cattail control will go into the boxes
in the next week or so.
Cattail spray effort went well. We
accomplished 400 acres over 2 days,
avoiding raindrops on 8/25. Last couple
loads were lower potency due to running
low on herbicide. However, dose should
still be lethal.
Andy reported that gates on west side
of the Marsh are closed to limit traffic
flow to interior or upland fields. This
promotes better quality hunting for
deer and pheasants. Safety is also enhanced
around the fish camp. Minor benefit
of reduced wear and tear on the roads
as well. North gate will be opened in
time for duck season.
After a battery of updates, we had
our feature presentation by DNR Researcher,
Ron Gatti. Ron has been working with
Ducks Unlimited on a coordinated study
of private land mallard nesting in Wisconsin.
Most of the study occurred in the Glacial
habitat Restoration Area, lying north
and west of the Marsh.
The study involves radio tagging nesting
hen mallards and monitoring them to
determine the fate of their nesting
efforts. The results of the study are
much to detailed to report here. However,
suffice it to say a great deal of information
was agthered which reinforces the approach
to management DNR, DU, and many others
are taking. Specifically, if we build
/ restore the habitat, they will come.
When a more complete summary of the
study results is available, Andy will
try to share with all who are interested.
After Ron’s talk and a great
snack break, Andy shared the Burnett
Impoundment engineering plans. If the
NAWCA grant is approved, DU and DNR
willl work together to make this project
happen. We hope to have a groundbreaking
before the tulips bloom. Project will
involve dike construction encompassing
over 300 acres. This will allow for
flooding the area with up to 4 feet
of water. The impoundment will be open
Finally, we discussed development options
for Clark’s Ditch. There was general
agreement that habitat in this area
had declined significantly over the
last 20 years. To help determine what
management options would work best in
this area, Andy proposed conducting
a topographic survey of the area. By
gathering this information, it is hoped
that we will be able to identify which
areas may be most suited to ditch plugs,
scrapes, or other strategies.
The trapping auction has been set for
Tuesday, September 30, 2003. It will
begin at 6:30 p.m. at the USFWS Horicon
NWR Headquarters Building. Our next
meeting will be October 1, at 6:30 p.m
at the DNR Service Center. Our agenda
Management Updates (water levels, trapping
auction results, burn planning, etc)
Boat landing Construction
Long-range Development Planning
Many thanks to Dean Schaffer for the
delicious snacks! Thank you also to
Cheryl Kakatsch for taking these notes!
Thanks to all for another great meeting!
Dennis Fruehauf Wayne Bandler Jim Reinhard
Russ Sobczyk Robert Miescke Ron Gatti
Ed Miescke Terry Vrana Noel Nogalski
Keith White Andy Nelson Cheryl Kakatsch
Mark Kakatsch Dean Schaffer Wendy Woyczik
Pat Byrne Ken Byrne Troy Ellis
Jerry Goetsch Norman Langlois Peter