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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been meaning to ask about planting stuff up here to attract ducks ??? I know down south it is common to plant a duckhole. But up here it seems kinda unreal ??? I tell people it is one big giant smorgasboard for ducks up here. All the waste grain etc.

Seems plants up here would be somewhat different than down south ??? With the high water the past few years is their things we could / should do to enhance our favorite duck places ??? For both rising or dropping water ??? If a guy sees plants that look genetically better in some areas - does it do any good to take seeds from there & spread them in your area ??? Even cattails ???

I need to learn more about what is what in a slough or wetland. Stuff Mallards really like - ???

Also can wild celery be moved from one spot to another & attrack Canvasbacks ??? If you have deeper water ???

Do you have a source of pictures of native aquatic vegetation of ND ???

What about food plants or helping the invertabrates (sp) in a pothole ??? Can a person use roundup (carefully) & get a better balance of vegetation ???

We really are not very smart in any of this up here ??? But as things get more crowded & segregated - I can see the importance.

[ This Message was edited by: Fetch on 2002-03-21 19:49 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Fetch on 2002-03-21 19:52 ]
 

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Wow, that is a lot of great questions! None of which I have the answer to right now. But it looks like a great homework assignment for me! I am going to ask some people and get back to you on this. This sounds like a great topic for May's article. Now, if I can only finish April's article before April. One resource you may want to try is DU's Great Plains Regional Office in Bismarck. The number for the biology department is 701.355.3533. They have been very helpful whenever I have had a question.
 

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On 2002-03-21 19:43, Fetch wrote:
I've been meaning to ask about planting stuff up here to attract ducks ??? I know down south it is common to plant a duckhole. But up here it seems kinda unreal ??? I tell people it is one big giant smorgasboard for ducks up here. All the waste grain etc.

Seems plants up here would be somewhat different than down south ??? With the high water the past few years is their things we could / should do to enhance our favorite duck places ??? For both rising or dropping water ??? If a guy sees plants that look genetically better in some areas - does it do any good to take seeds from there & spread them in your area ??? Even cattails ???

Fetch:

I do alot with wetlands so I think I should be able to answer most of your questions.

Wetland vegetation includes those plants that possess physiological traits that allow them to grow and persist in soils subject to inundation and anaerobic soil conditions. Plant species are classified according to their probability of being associated with wetlands. Obligate (OBL) wetland plant species almost always occur in wetlands (more than 99 percent of the time), facultative wetland (FACW) plant species occur in wetland most of the time (67 to 99 percent), facultative (FAC) plant species have about an equal chance (33 to 66 percent) of occurring in wetlands as in uplands.

Generally speaking, a few Eurasian invasive species usually will dominate most wetlands, especially if you have disturbed fields in proximity. So without further blabbing, the vegetation in your slough is very hard to manage.

I need to learn more about what is what in a slough or wetland. Stuff Mallards really like - ???

Mallards generally like wetlands that are classified as PEMc under the Cowardin classification system (Cowardin, along with others came up with a classification scheme to identify wetlands in the late 70's). PEMc stands for palustrine, emergent, depressional basin, seasonally flooded. Or, your typical prairie pothole.

Also can wild celery be moved from one spot to another & attrack Canvasbacks ??? If you have deeper water ???

All wetland plants are very viable and most rely on the wind for dispersal, so if you have wild celery that does contain seed heads, a quick toss into your deep wetland may produce a viable plant.

Do you have a source of pictures of native aquatic vegetation of ND ???

I can lead to some basic books and websites that detail the dominant wetland vegetation that probably occurs in over 99% of ND wetlands.

What about food plants or helping the invertabrates (sp) in a pothole ??? Can a person use roundup (carefully) & get a better balance of vegetation ???

Round-up contains a emulsifier that breaks down in water, so alledgedly it does not kill invertebrates. But anything that introduces produced organics into a system cannot be good, no matter what the manufacturer states or proclaims.

We really are not very smart in any of this up here ??? But as things get more crowded & segregated - I can see the importance.

One of the best management practices that can be readily applied to most wetlands that have become inundated with cattails is to go out when the wetland is froze and actively cut or trim the cattails to open up pockets for waterfowl.

[ This Message was edited by: Fetch on 2002-03-21 19:49 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Fetch on 2002-03-21 19:52 ]
 

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Fetch: did you ever find any information on this that would be helpful. I have many of the same questions.

It seems most of the information I have found on this is for people that are able to control the water levels of their impoundments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not really - But I have bought 6 bags of Mossyoak Biologic Waterfowl mix - (on clearance sale at wallyworld ) So I feel aboout as smart as a guy who stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night :D

I want to find wild celery & move it to a place to see if it will work ??? Is this Legal ??? & YES I need to have a clue what it looks like :roll:

I have a feeling planting stuff up here is not going to mature & head out - seed - to feed ducks - Plus there is so much to eat already - why would ducks choose my waterhole - Some use it now - but not as many as nearby areas ???
 

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Guys when out scouting for new duck ponds or determining which ones the birds will use I have found that the presense of freshwater shrimp is a key in our area in SEC ND these water seem to hold birds and they are willing to come back even if they are hunted over decoys. I do not know if they can be moved or transplanted in new waters but I have shot many ducks that have them hanging like ticks from there belly feathers and the crops are full of them also.
 

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I remember noticing the same thing on some geese we shot that came off Horsehead Lake last year. They came crawling out of the belly feathers as we were cleaning them.

I think it still starts with the plants because the shrimp have to have something to eat before they can get big enough to get eaten by ducks. It is something else to think about though.
 

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It has to do as much with water as it does with grain.

In ND we have water scattered all over the state - ducks feed in these ponds or the neighboring grain fields. Along the gulf coast, this area is a natural ducky area - this is where they wintered since the dawn of the species.

It is inbetween - along the migration corridor that things become interesting.

In the mid-states and southern states, the distribution of ducky water is far and few between. Rivers, reservoirs, etc... certainly attract ducks.

So:

In many mid-state and southern states the lease holder pays the landowner to modify his land to attract ducks. Much of this land is lower river valley land or rice paddy land. The landowner will block the gates so that rainwater holds and forms ponds. In dry years many will actually turn on the pumps to fill these fields. All cost money - paid for by the hunting lease.

So many still are not satisfied with the ability of this process to attact and hold ducks - low and behold - moist soil management:

Moist Soil Management involves the lowering water levels during the spring and summer months, allowing natural annual plants to grow from seeds already in the soil. These include annual plants such as smartweeds, wild millet, barnyard grass, beggar-ticks, foxtail, and nutsedge that grow on disturbed soils. These are often the same invaders that the farmers are trying to control in their cropfields, but in a moist soil area, they can produce very good waterfowl foods when flooded in the fall.

Croplands and moist soil management units have different problems. Croplands can produce more food on a more consistent basis, but they are not the natural foods, and they are more costly to produce in terms of total resources. Moist soil plants are more natural and can be cheaper to produce. However, most moist soil management can lead to the growth of problem plants such as purple loosestrife, willow, reed-canarygrass, and others that must be periodically controlled and make high costs after a period of time. Continual moist soil management leads to more permanent and perennial plants which do not produce the high seed quantities of the primary succession annual plants. To reduce these problems and associated costs, we often alternate a cropping program with a moist soil program within an unit to control any problem vegetation. That is we alternate a period of 1-2 years of normal crops such as corn or millet with 2-4 years of moist soil management. This controls the problem vegetation and sets back the vegetation succession to the annual plants that first grow after soil disturbance. This allows us to balance the two programs to give maximum benefits at a reduced cost.


http://midwest.fws.gov/ottawa/cropland.html

Certain government "refuges" employ this practice not only to feed waterfowl, but to increase hunting opportunities on the land.

At one time the planting of millet or corn and then flooding right before hunting season was considered baiting. They would simply push the crops down leaving the full seed head in the water.

I beleive this definition has been reversed.
 
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