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Thread: Is Duck Lake leaking????

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    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
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    Default Is Duck Lake leaking????

    Right now there are quite a few people hunting DL and seem to be spread out over most of it. Could you guys take some time in your wonderings and hunting to check the outer edges where ever you can and see if there are significant leaks that is keeping the water level down that can be repared. This may be a opportunity to raise the level of the lakes, and thereby flood a larger area and increase nesting opportunities for next year. If we can find a place where the enclosure of the lake is washed away, perhaps we can get in there and patch it up with some sort of work party. I see that the east shore tapers gradually into the lake with a lot of exposed mud flats that at some time was flooded but is not flooded at this time at all. That is all prime nesting area if flooded and could help increase our yearly production of birds.

    If this sounds familuar, I'm the one who promoted building nesting box's last winter. I was slow after Christmas and tied up and didn't get going until April, which was too late and nothing was done. In talking to the Refuge manager, he is suggesting we check on the old nest box project that was done a number of years ago, and considered unsuccessful. I think trying to enlarge the lake would add more nesting and more birds. What do you guys think?? Bud

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    Member AK DUCKMAN's Avatar
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    Bud I think this weekend will be the best time to tell where water may be going out. When the 34 foot tide rolls in it will push water into the lake and you will be able to tell by the silt color those places One is the rabbit slough portage so don't bother looking theres no leak there. I have to guess if there's a spot where waters going out, it's got to be in the area of the point where the big water starts, (coming from knik side) I'll be out there for it and will keep my eyes open. Bob

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    Is trapping legal out there? If so then cutting the lake off from beaver harvest may let momma nature fix the problem for you. I am not familiar with the area so don't know if that could be a viable solution or not.

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    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
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    Bob, AKduckman, I know from when I used to hunt the salt the past few years on the Knick side, there are a lot of drainage leads coming from the long treeline that is between the lake and the knick. I've been told there are places there where the water has washed out the restraints on the lake and drains, but don't know exactly where. We need to patch it or it will get worse. Looking at the tides, yes we do have some extreme high tides this Fri-Sun. It shows the real high 34' tides at late night but the corresponding high tide still up as high as 33.4 on Thursday, which should still tell us something. Its shown at 8:23 am, for Anch, and should be a couple hours later at DL. Going looking at night would be very unproductive but Thursday morning between 10am and 1 pm could be good. My airboat should be able to run around all the salt water area legally right up to the banks of the lake as long as the area if flooded, maybe we could plan that Thursday if you interested in tagging along. I don't know the lake well at all, and would like somebody more knowledgeable alone, and I can bring a good camera to record what we see. Anybody else interested??? Bud

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    Member AK DUCKMAN's Avatar
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    Bud, I prob won't be on the lake till noon. Depending if I hit the wall. Will have been up all night at work. Thursdays I usually put up camp, drop in some deeks then take a nap in the boat. Have to see how I feel but may be up to it. I'll try to remember my sat map. I'm sure if it is draining it's around the point somewhere. I do know about where to look, I'v been all over that lake. We may get into good jump shooting back in there also. Hell I may just set camp and come out light. I can always put out deeks in the AM. Will you have all day to look around?
    If I can meet you at the point on the lake around noon we should have found something by 4:00 PM Bob

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    I'll be out on the lake thursday around noon for a couple hours, dont want to linger and get caught by the tide. If their happens to be any flyers available that day that can fly around the lake at high tide (1-2pm) and take pics, that would be great. I also have a vhf if anybody is planning on it. Basically just using the 34' tide to see if water goes in and out of the lake at extreme tides and where. Bud

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    Sounds good Bud. That 34' tide will tell us a lot. I am hoping it floods the marsh, it in a day or two the water is back to its current level we, no doubt, have a problem!

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    Take a look at the area to the west of the big "piano blind". There is a little tidal gut back in that corner that always seems to have water flowing out of it. I dont remember it doing that 5-6 years ago. Maybe its just my memory fading.....

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    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
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    what/where is the piano blind, are you talking about the big one that is locked up near the center. my plan is to run in from the west side in my airboat and go around as much as the outer edge as i can. Bud

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    I did a fair bit of walking this weekend and will add my observations. We hunt the SW end and I haven't found any significant drainage from this end. The gut we access had very little run-off after heavy rain sat. The gut to the west that drains the next marsh west had a bit more flow. I also walked through that marsh and it is very low, as it has been for the last few years. Very few ducks traded to DL from the west marsh. When that marsh holds water, hunting our end is good, as many trade back and forth. This hasn't been the case for several years. I also walked to the next gut up river from our access from the Knik. I think that this maybe the source of the leak. I'm not sure where it ends but it is somewhere near the old cabin by the dead tree forest. Someone was using it last year and had covered it with camo netting. I'm sure Duckman knows where it is. This would be where I would look first. Good luck and thanks for taking the time to investigate. I wish I could help but work calls. Higher water levels would benefit all users as it would create much more habitat for nesting, feeding, and loafing. Getting more water in the west marsh would also be of great benefit to DL, as it serves as a refuge of sorts.

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    Member AK DUCKMAN's Avatar
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    Bud, the piano blind is what I call the battle ship blind and is probably the one thats lock up but shoulden't be. Yes I know where to look and will try to get on it thursday. Sounds like you will be looking from out side in your air boat. I will call you when I head down the slough. It will take me a while as I would like to get camp up before I get on the lake. Plus I won't of had any sleep. I have been back in there years ago, but think I can still find the place I think water is draining from. I will gps it and also take some pics.. And carv it was good seeing you out on opening. You coming back out anytime some? Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by akblackdawg View Post
    what/where is the piano blind, are you talking about the big one that is locked up near the center. my plan is to run in from the west side in my airboat and go around as much as the outer edge as i can. Bud
    Yep, thats the one I'm talking about. Funny to hear its "locked" up. I seen the guy hunting it opening day and thought to myself that he did a lot of work out there. I have always thought it was one of the worst spots on the marsh to set up, as its mostly a diver or pass shooting location at best, and even then, a marginal one. I'm absolutley surprised DNR hasnt' burned that one down in the winter, as they seem to like doing that with cabins/camps that are abandoned. The guy that did that must be from LA or AR, as they seem to like doing that sort of stuff on public lands.

    The marsh looks fairly "normal" as far as water levels go this year (to me anyways). I have seen it lower and higher, but seems fairly normal now. I dont know about the west marsh, as I dont generally wander that far over. One area that I do notice seems to be drier or higher again this year is the mucky area to the east of the big "box" blind. I have not seen water to the grass in that area for about 5 or so years now, and it seems to be higher than it used to be compared to the areas around it. One thing I think is important about manipulating water levels in this marsh is the fact that most of the food sources for the ducks are in about 1 to 3 feet of water, which for dabblers is about right. If we were able to increase the water levels too much, we could make that food sourse less available to dabblers and make things much worse. I think we tend to do things without knowing all the consequences of our actions a lot of times, eventhough we do them with a good intent.

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    Did the lake flood with yesterday's tides? I am guessing it will flood tonight with the 34' tide, or at least I hope it does!

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    It came out a little but not enough to matter. It was kinda cool watching it flow over the portage. at 11:00 pm. Guess I was the only one there to watch it. I also found a posable leek source if anyone cares.

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    I was out aboat 11 am thursday but the tide had already gone down quite a bit, I was estimating 2 hrs after Anchorage tides and was way off. Back out about 1030 am Fri and followed a acouple leads towards the tree line but even then the tide wasnt high enough to get close enough to tell what was going on. Guess that was a flop. Spoke with a retired lady fish and game employee at the knick launch today(she has the duck shack that is accesable from the knick side), she was saying that those she knows have not seen or remembered a year with as poor a duck population for this time of year. She said there were many more ducks in May then now which is confusing. Also that the pintail population is way down, usually about 1/3 pintales now, and we are hardly getting any. Bud

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