Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 42

Thread: Is there support to take steps to improve our hunting

  1. #1
    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    1,456

    Default Is there support to take steps to improve our hunting

    I am asking those of you that hunt both the hayflats and Jim Creek area if there is support amoung you to do work projects in these areas to improve waterfowl hunting in those areas. I have not yet, but plan to contact the refuge biologist to discuss this with him. Two ideas that I have that could be implamented would be to build and place nesting box's/platforms for waterfowl in these areas to help increase local bird production. Another idea would be to seed the area with plants that may be a better food source for waterfowl and thus increase the carrying capacity of the area during the spring and summer. I'm sure there are other things we can do, many will require some man power. Is there any support for projects like this, we can possibly get some funding from the same sources as the development of Reflection Lake. Bud

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    anchorage
    Posts
    42

    Default

    I am willing to help. I live in Anchorage so I can only help on days off, but am willing to help when I can

  3. #3
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    South Central
    Posts
    2,541

    Default Nesting structures

    There was a kid about 5 years ago that built and installed several nest structures on the Hay flats according to a flyer from DU at the time.

    Has anyone noticed them out there?

    I have collected info over the years about nesting structures. They are easiest to install in the winter when the ice can be walked on. However, you have to install them guessing at the final water height during nesting season months away.

    They are really simple to build with wire mesh, staw, and some 2x6. The pole in the ground is the hard part up here in the winter.

    As for food plants the State will not let a non local plants be placed in a public land area. However, there are good waterfowl food plants already here such as sago pond weed and some of the milfoils. Maybe there is some widgeon grass around, too. They should be able to be transplanted from one wetland to another to enhance it. I know Jim Lake as some large milfoil beds, and there are some small milfoil areas in Gull Lake in the middle section.

    There are sections of Gull and Mud lakes that are like the surface of the moon when you look down in to the water. I have always wondered why after 45 years of being submerged these pond bottoms did not have more vegetation. Is the water logged muskeg bottom too acidic to support plant growth?

    In Mud Lake did anyone notice that there is now a stand of cat tails out about 50 yards past the big rock? It is about 20ft long and only a few feet across. They were not there a few years ago. This summer I thought they were the normal tule reeds but then realised that they were flapping in the wind and had leaves, not just stalks. The State uses them in their road side storm drain wetlands since they absorb various metals and other polutants. However, I suspect that these came off of someones boat from out of state.

  4. #4

    Default

    I am amazed at how rare cattails are in Alaska. I was looking for some to show my young children the cigar-like seed head. The only place I could find them was along C street near the Fish and Game office and in the borrow pit by International and Minnesota.

  5. #5
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    South Central
    Posts
    2,541

    Default

    Bob, out at the airport they made a storm water retention marsh between Post Office drive and the road to the main terminal. In the summer there are ducks in there and with the cat tails it looks just like back in the states, except for those water control structures.

    They are few and far between. I have heard of them down in the Swanson River canoe area, but that it the only place I have heard of them being in a native environment. Everyplace else they are part of a man made wetlands.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Palmer Ak
    Posts
    106

    Default

    Yea I'd be in for putting up nesting platforms helping build them or whatever, but can't help wondering how long they would last, vandals ,airboats, snow machines, or even hunters thying to use them as places to set up their blinds as has happened with many of the small nesting islands there.

  7. #7
    Sponsor Duckhunter01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Anchorage, Trapper Creek, Seward
    Posts
    1,799

    Default Hayflats

    akblackdawg...

    You started something here..a very good conservation idea that all of us can utilize and benefit from.

    Ducks.org has numerous plans and ideas on their website. I am pretty sure everyone on here has ideas or plans as well for both the ducks and geese. I am sure the local Chapters can provide input for this idea as well. Might even be able to tap into ideas and funds from them to accommodate this. Doesn’t hurt to try.

    There many different types of platforms depending on what type of waterfowl you are targeting. When I was stationed in Kansas, I volunteered with the local DU Chapter in establishing wetlands and nesting habitat that greatly benefited us as the years past.

    PM Me when you get some time, we can discuss your ideas and put something together. We definitely will have to get with the local biologist or manager of these areas, sit down, and discuss what other options are available and what limitations are placed on these areas if any.

    I will help you get something started upon return from this deployment (return early spring). I know there are limitations in and out of these areas at certain times of the year...might have to get a "permit or pass" from AF&G for transporting and establishing them.

    As far as vandalism... I don’t expect anyone going through the trouble of getting out there would bother them to much...99% of them are waterfowlers and would appreciate the effort if anything..just my 2 cents on that.

    Great Idea...thanks
    DH

  8. #8

    Default

    I am all for helping out but I wonder if the costs outweighs the benefits.

    I suspect that any efforts would have minimal impact on duck production.

    Building nesting structures or planting duck food might make us feel good, but how many ducks would it add to the southbound migration?

    I would hazard a guess that most of the ducks we see in South Central have been hatched in the Y-K area or perhaps the Yukon flats and migrate into South Central prior to opening day.

    If my suspicion is correct then attempting improvements would be akin to adding fertilizer to a dry, rocky desert.

    Maybe I am wrong, but the first step that should be taken is to consult with the duck biologists at Fish and Game and see if there are any efforts which would pay tangible benefits.

    Years ago the state poured a lot of money and effort to a number of circular duck ponds near the Glenn Highway. They would have an idea by now if those efforts were cost effective.

  9. #9
    Member ADUKHNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    503

    Default

    I like your thinking and I am willing to help out if the state biologists are willing to give us recommendations.

  10. #10
    Member Vince's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks most the time, Ancorage some of the time,& on the road Kicking Anti's all the time
    Posts
    8,989

    Default

    i love reading your guys threads..... too bad the fishing crowd desn't learn from some of you all.....


    i know it is kind of meaningless but i gave as much rep as allowed to all i could here.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  11. #11
    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    1,456

    Default

    I called the biologist today and left a number for him to call back. As far as nesting platforms, i'm thinking of a goal of 1000, that would put several thousand birds in the air in our area for the early season, later in the season we get in the birds from the yk. hope the biologist gives me a call tomorrow. Bud

  12. #12
    Sponsor Duckhunter01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Anchorage, Trapper Creek, Seward
    Posts
    1,799

    Default Habitat

    The habitat is great out there; The Yukon area covers a large part of the Pacific Flyway breeding population on Geese, Brants, Whitefronts and Cacklers, puddle ducks as well. There is a large population of pintails, teal, widgeon and mallards that use the wetlands around this area to breed and raise their young as well.

    Providing nesting platforms would attract the geese. I have seen this work in areas with small populations of geese. They will use them if they are there. The wetlands provide a great opportunity for the puddle ducks to nest and raise their young. The boxes and platforms would just increase the waterfowl success and population due to the predation taking place. There is not allot of this to begin with out there...occasional muskrat, raccoon, fox, marmot etc..your birds of prey take a substantial amount of ducks every year as well..I think we would almost limit our chances to them. I have personally witnessed birds of prey grab the birds during waterfowl season out of the air out there. I know in the Midwest the eagles would follow the Snow Geese and Canada’s down from Canada through the Dakotas’ to northern Texas feeding on them as they migrated.

    Either way....the time spent would probably not make a huge impact on the population in the short run…but it would increase and stabilize it in the years to come...if this is something that was added to every year..in 10-20 years.....we might just have done something good here.

    I know AK DUCKMAN would help....sorry Bob
    DH01

  13. #13
    Member AK DUCKMAN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    698

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Duckhunter01 View Post
    The habitat is great out there; The Yukon area covers a large part of the Pacific Flyway breeding population on Geese, Brants, Whitefronts and Cacklers, puddle ducks as well. There is a large population of pintails, teal, widgeon and mallards that use the wetlands around this area to breed and raise their young as well.

    Providing nesting platforms would attract the geese. I have seen this work in areas with small populations of geese. They will use them if they are there. The wetlands provide a great opportunity for the puddle ducks to nest and raise their young. The boxes and platforms would just increase the waterfowl success and population due to the predation taking place. There is not allot of this to begin with out there...occasional muskrat, raccoon, fox, marmot etc..your birds of prey take a substantial amount of ducks every year as well..I think we would almost limit our chances to them. I have personally witnessed birds of prey grab the birds during waterfowl season out of the air out there. I know in the Midwest the eagles would follow the Snow Geese and Canada’s down from Canada through the Dakotas’ to northern Texas feeding on them as they migrated.

    Either way....the time spent would probably not make a huge impact on the population in the short run…but it would increase and stabilize it in the years to come...if this is something that was added to every year..in 10-20 years.....we might just have done something good here.

    I know AK DUCKMAN would help....sorry Bob
    DH01
    As long as I don't have other obligations. And if it's done in the winter, it justs gives me another reason to break out the sled. maybe we could get some of the friends of the hay flats, grant money. HA HA HA

  14. #14
    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    1,456

    Default

    http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/refug.../palmer_hf.pdf

    The above is a link to the Management Plan for the hayflats. It is rather long, but well worth skimming over and reading the parts that may apply to us. There is a portion towards the end that describes a DU project in 1986 I beleive that also shows maps of the ponds that the project involved. I am still waiting to hear back from the area biologist on this idea. Thank you for the support that has been shown thus far. Bud

  15. #15
    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    1,456

    Default

    I just spoke with Joe Meehan, who is the game dept biologist in charge of the hayflats area. He seems open to our ideas about enhancement and will be speaking with the biologist who is their waterfowl expert next week about ideas regarding both nesting platforms and supplemental feeding or planting of feed for waterfowl. What he suggested may be a bigger concern is that at the southwest corner of Duck lake, there is a low area where the lake is draining. The more the lake gets drained, the greater the adverse affect for nesting ducks, so he may need some volunteers to plant and help stabalize the area or perhaps put in some reinforcement to block the draining. He also suggested I contact the AK DU representative to see what they might suggest concerning nesting platforms, etc, which I will be doing. Bud

  16. #16
    Sponsor Duckhunter01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Anchorage, Trapper Creek, Seward
    Posts
    1,799

    Default Hayflats

    Bud.

    Great read. Thanks for posting the link.
    Per 1.4 Water Bird Migration 1.41 "Maintain, protect, and where feasible enhance the quality and quantity of nesting, rearing and staging habitat for migrant water birds"

    Need you say more...this is the State of Alaska's Conservation and Management goal for this area. Our plan to do just this, would be justified and would be supported. The only thing you would have to argue would be: Showing that our platforms and nesting boxes were sanctioned by the state and approved by the AF&G Dept, permits etc. This seems too simple since states to include Alaska have been doing this for decades. I can see some funding coming from this since they have funds to manage this property. I could not find out how much, although the manager of this area would know.

    Volunteering time to "Dam, Divert, or slow the flow of water" to accommodate their goal (which has already been acknowledged in benefiting the overall project) would seal the deal with some volunteers. Bud… I don’t see how we can lose on this project/idea. There are a lot of guys out there that I know want to help. When you get more specific from the &G and we get this blessed off. Then we just need to gather interested individuals contact information, and set up a meeting somewhere. This will give us an idea on how many people are serious about this, and what they can or will provide, to include local businesses etc. for donations and contributions to this Waterfowl Management and Conservation Project.

    We need to contact the local DU Chapter and the main dept in Tenn. They have funds for projects like this. They have already contributed to this from the information you gathered and I am sure they would with this..just need to check.

    I would also recommend drafting a proposal as well. The local Biologist and Manager can help you with this. They are the experts on this as well as DU….they live and breath this stuff. I will help you with this if needed.

    Great information..keep us updated and keep me updated via email. I will help contact anyone you need me to from over here via email…calling is a little challenging.
    DH01

    Interesting sites to visit: http://www.deltawaterfowl.org/ and http://www.deltawaterfowl.org/henhouses/build.php

    Sometimes called “Mallard Factories”, these easy to build and install structures give mallard hens a safe place to lay their eggs in the spring, away from increasing numbers of prairie predators such as raccoons and skunks. Research has shown that on average, a hen mallard will have a sSometimes called “Mallard Factories”, these easy to build and install structures give mallard hens a safe place to lay their eggs in the spring, away from increasing numbers of prairie predators such as raccoons and skunks. Research has shown that on average, a hen mallard will have a successful nest about 80% of the time in a Hen House, whereas nests on the ground may have only a 0-20% chance of surviving.uccessful nest about 80% of the time in a Hen House, whereas nests on the ground may have only a 0-20% chance of surviving. 40$ for supplies.

    Delta Waterfowl does not have a local Chapter in Anchorage.

    Closest ones are: Delta Jct., AK - Tanana Valley | Chair: Ric Seward (907) 895-5045
    Soldotna, AK - Peninsula Pintails | Chair: Raymond Meier (907) 394-2255

    Idea#1...Long shot, but we could start a Chapter in Anchorage... Idea #2 would be to contact them and see what they can offer outside of DU...
    Idea #3 would be to possibly combine the efforts from both organizations....
    Both organizations’ Mission statements strive toward Waterfowl and Wetlands Conservation, dedicating themselves to increasing waterfowl numbers and to secure the future of waterfowl and waterfowl hunting.

    DH01





  17. #17
    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    1,456

    Default

    The below is a copy of message I sent to DU chairmen in AK. I'll let you know what Tom Dwyerd's response is. It will take some time to get things rolling but I think the results will be very worthwhile. I will go ahead and contact Delta Waterfowl also. Bud


    Re: possible du project
    Friday, November 6, 2009 1:44 PM



    From:
    "Dave Weber" <dweber@ducks.org>
    View contact details



    To:
    "bud bass" <budbassc21@yahoo.com>


    Cc:
    pharmboy@gci.net, "Thomas Dwyer" <tdwyer@ducks.org>, "Peter Churchbourne" <pchurchbourne@ducks.org>




    Bud,


    I have "cc" Tom Dwyer who is the Director of Conservation for Ducks Unlimited in Alaska. Thanks for thinking about DU on this.

    Dave Weber Regional Director. Alaska

  18. #18

    Default

    I really like the idea of trying to stabilize the waterlevels of Duck Lake. My group has been hunting this area for over 25 years and it seems to get drier and drier each year. The marsh to the west of Duck Lake used to hold thousands of ducks but has been nearly dry for the last 4 or 5. Increasing water levels by 6 inches or a foot would flood hundreds of acres. I really think this is the key for this area. Nesting boxes, etc. are great but what we really need is more water. I have 4-5 buddies who would love to help, and three sons who have stong backs. It is great that the local biologist recognizes this. If we have him on board, it will be much easier to actually get something done. How about starting " Duckhunting Friends of the Hayflats" ??

  19. #19
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    South Central
    Posts
    2,541

    Default Duck Lake Portage

    From what I read in the managment plan the portage on the Knik side is believed to be responsible for draining Duck Lake. I know from viewing the area through Google Earth that there are also a few tide guts that might have had some headward erosion that will eventually cut into the lake shore and start draining it.

    Not having been out there and stomped around I can not see an obvious link to the far west marsh at Coffee Point and Duck Lake. I am thinking that the imaging on Google Earth may be older than 5 years since it shows the marsh at Coffee Point with a lot of water in it. There is probably a sheet flow system out there that is not easily identified through remote sensing images.

    Since the Hay Flats is not an area needing to be reclaimed and returned to a natural habitat it may get little funding from DU or Delta. However they can offer their engineering services to recommend or design a solution to the portage drain on the Knik side. Of course the simplist solution is to build a deck to slide the boats on and then dam up the head of the drain with a clay dike. We don't need to over think this. If the State wanted to start doing moist soil managment "farming" then there would be the need for some serious water control engineering. If all we want to do is keep the lake from draining due to the damage our access is causing then lets just build a small earthen dike and a boat slide to protect the marsh.

    Those of you that use the Knik portage have noticed the significant changes in the river this year and have had to park your river boats differently. Being a glacial river the Knik will always be moving its banks so any improvments made will be at the whim of the river. Because of this I recommend not building a boat slide that is permanent with driven pilings.

    This gives two options: lots of dirt and geomatting or an above ground laydown structure.

    The dirt fill and geomatting has been done on the ATV trail at Cottonwood Creek side of the refuge. It would be harder to deploy on the Knik since there is no direct road access. It would have to be done in the winter using snow machines and sleds a 1/4 yard at a time. OR get a permit from F&G Habitat to use a tracked rig. The Knik portage is about 1400 ft long, assuming a depth of 3 ft of fill 5 ft wide to make a path to drag boats on is about 778 cubic yards of dirt. 195 snowmachine trips at 1/4 yard each. To protect the boat bottoms treated timbers would be nailed down in three rows or a second layer of geomat would be placed on top of the path.

    The above ground structure would require a lot less fill to build the dike and then a lot of treated lumber to build the cribbing structure and then the deck on top of that. It would take more engineering to construct and be prone to vandalism and winter damage increasing the annual maintenace cost to the refuge system.

    With the right approach the dirt fill would be cheaper since the fill could be donated and the hauling performed by volunteers. The above ground structure would have a higher cost since the materials are all imported from the L48. Home Depot does have a "good will" system which reduces the materials to wholesale.

  20. #20
    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    1,456

    Default

    The idea of doing something to stabalize the water level and preventing the water from draining the lake is from Joe Meehan, the area biologist for the game dept. I am waiting to hear back from him, he was to contact the waterfowl biologist and discuss our ideas with them and get back to me. Joe had told me that the primary area that water is draining is on the rabbit slough side, down near the tan or brown cabin. I don't recall the owners name. I'm not familuar with that area myself. Any input of ideas on how to fix the problem will be appreciated. Thank you Ray. I like the idea of forming our own group to work on duck hunting enhancement problems to cover both the hayflats and jim creek area. Several have sent me email address and asked to be kept informed, I will respond when I get more information to pass along. I can tell this will be a slow moving project, nobody from DU or the Game dept appears to be overly excited about jumping into it. Bud

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •