Project: Waterfowl Stamp Grant Projects
This article originally appeared in Wisconsin Waterfowl Association’s May, 2023 Newsletter edition.
Earlier this year, WWA wrapped up its reporting to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on our latest waterfowl stamp grant. We proposed to complete 100 acres of wetland restoration with the $50,000 awarded to WWA. I’m happy to say that with those funds WWA completed 20 projects totaling 233 acres between 2020 and 2022. As a strong proponent and leading conservation organization that worked to accomplish the waterfowl stamp increase, we have shown with our efforts how effective and efficient WWA is with those dollars. WWA works at maximizing partnerships and landowner investments in their own wetlands, leading to increased wetland habitat, which supports a wide range of species across our state.
Projects were completed within the following counties with a few having multiple projects: Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Juneau, Marquette, Manitowoc, Ozaukee, St. Croix, Washington and Winnebago.
Here are a few of the brief project summaries of the completed restorations:
Winnebago County, Wetland Acres: 13, Grassland Acres: 60
This project consisted of disabling drain tile across a 40 acre field and interrupting the drainage ditch. This consists of wet meadow and a two acre wild rice pond with an additional one acre scrape. Artesian hydrology was captured and the site, now fully saturated, was farmed until we completed restoration.
Juneau County, Wetland Acres: 6
This projected was the restoration of an old oxbow wetland along the Baraboo River. The oxbow had been drained. A berm with water control structure was installed in the place of the surface drain. This will restore natural hydrology to the six acre basin within a floodplain. Site is a mix of PEM wetland and floodplain forest.
Ozaukee County, Wetland Acres: 2
This site is a degraded wetland basin that was dominated by reed canary grass and had a surface drain going out the south side. The drain was disabled and one acre of the area was scraped for a wildlife scrape for open water habitat.
Fond Du Lac County, Wetland Acres: 10
A drainage ditch that was draining a 1960’s impoundment ran through an agricultural field and degraded wetland to a small creek to the south. The ditch had an agricultural access road across it. A culvert was replaced with a water control structure which allows the ditch to be filled and reverse drainage effects. The ditch has a constant flow and will flood the entire area.
Dodge County, Wetland acres: 8
A wildlife scrape was constructed in monoculture cattails for permanent open water. A small berm was constructed with WCS to capture water on the ag field. This will seasonally flood providing good migratory bird layover/feeding area.