Grasslands

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Re: Grasslands

Postby Beretta06 » Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:15 pm

Calikev vary lagit thought. I wonder what kind of population just the wetlands can sustain without any rice? Obviously the white goose population is large. I'd like to see the birds migrate for food as they did before rice was such a large player in waterfowl management. Id like to see decomp water moved around for other use. As far as politics I have a couple different emails and letters I send out to our governer and various state reps about every 3 to 5 days on water issues. It is an odd position for liberal politicians agenda to be a friend and foe for waterfowlers. I guess both sides are friend and foe given the issue. The fact that nothing has been done in decades to expand water storage is poor policy considering the population growth accord the state.

I truely believed we were going to get more like a 40% allocation of water. The fact that 65% is the number. I'm excited all the work we did in the past preparing for somthing like this is really going to come into effect and we will now see if all those projects over the last 30 years work.

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Re: Grasslands

Postby 3200 man » Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:05 pm

So True Calikev , we are all in this together with the understanding farmers have to make a living , I just fear the day
commodities ( Nuts )in Calif take away our Natural Resources which hurts our Waterfowl flyway . Being good stewards of
what water is available so it doesn't impact the birds with disease and spreads throughout the valley is what we can do
to have nesting birds for next year . Hopefully the klamath Basin problems are an eye opener here in the Valley and we
don't see die-offs ( like in West Bear back in the late 1990's ) . I'm sure you're right about birds recovering from bad times
(like we have) but with less rice / grain planted this year it could take a lot longer .
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Re: Grasslands

Postby Beretta06 » Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:50 pm

My friend Dustin lives in Blue lake there is a small refuge off the humbolt bay. A few years ago before there was any water issues he was hunting the little refuge in December on a stormy day. They had been warned at the check station that there may be a cholera outbreak in progress. Sure enough he said there were dead birds everywhere. So that just goes to show you disease outbreak doesn't nesasary happen under "bad drought conditions" it just happens. My question to refuge managers how are they going to manage the water they get. There are ponds on the Los Banos refuge that are just nasty. I don't care how much fresh water goes in them. They stink, they are gross a week or 2 into the season. Do they flood those ponds. Do they flood ponds with a lot of trees? That the wind can't really oxygenate the water? Do they flood a pond that heavily cut and disced that might have a large amount of vegetation that is going to rot and add to the water quality woes? At that do they flood a pond that's had the Steiger disc pulled through it 24" deep and possibly loose a little more water to perculation then normal? Which is why we chose at our club to disc the north end with a sand disc the penitrated 8"-10" it took an extra year to do what we needed but we may have saved a bit of water to perculation by going that route. Maybe not? We have done everything in our power to manage our 65% the best way possible. We have one last project to complete before water comes in. But disease will impact the waterfowl poulation Again someday. Mabe not this year. Maybe on a year we least expect it. The same thing can happen to the human poulation when we least expect it. Maybe sooner then later considering someone infected with Ebola can stroll across our southern boarder.

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Re: Grasslands

Postby Beretta06 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:10 am

I was just reminded that in 1989 we took 1.5 acer feet of water per acer. After looking through club records my grandfather kept. I feel better about this coming season. His last statement was we could sustain with a slightly amaller water delivery. But what is scary is 89 was the 3rd year of low annual rainfall totals. Not a good solid rain year till 93 although 92 was above 11".
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Re: Grasslands

Postby Calikev » Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:45 pm

After hearing some of the flood up plans for the refuges and clubs this year I feel a lot better about the amount of habitat that will be out there for the birds. I think we will have ample habitat at the start of the season. Hunter opportunity will no doubt be reduced but most folks should have a place to hunt somewhere if they are patient. What will be interesting is to see what happens later in the season when ponds start drying up. Birds will leave the region and perhaps crowd some of the areas that do have water.

One way or another this is going to be a landmark season. Folks who have never experienced a drought can tell their kids about the drought of 13-?
"It seems the harder I work the more luck I seem to have"
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Re: Grasslands

Postby Beretta06 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:05 pm

I was a few years older than my son when I was walking around the bottom of cuchuma lake pulling fishing lures off of trees normally under water. So it's just a thing that happens. Hopefully there are solutions to the water issues in the coming years.Even the dumbest tree hugers should see that they can't help the delta smelt without adiquate water upstream. But who knows. I think our club will be ok at least till Dec 16th when we run out of maintnance water. If we don't have rain by then it will get sketchy. Hopefully at least the days are cold.
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Re: Grasslands

Postby 3200 man » Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:47 pm

Yea as time will tell , hopefully summers heat will move on and fall temps will get here before ponds heat-up !
We can't change what Mother Nature has in store for us but with the heads-up we've been given about sick birds
and what causes disease's to spread......we will eliminate infected ponds early enough at clubs , to save what
birds we can . This would be saving birds for the future . :thumbsup:
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Re: Grasslands

Postby Beretta06 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:23 am

3200 what makes you think a disease will start at a club? All you have said is clubs are going to start the catastrophic bird killing disease. What ever it is you have against duck clubs you need to get over it. I'm kinda tierd of hearing all the water should goto the refuges because they can manage it better. It is highly unlikely the government can manage the water better than the private side. The refuges that supposedly you think are so wonderful at management will still endure the same conditions as clubs.

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Re: Grasslands

Postby LeakyW8ers » Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:39 am

Dwight,

Serious question for you about your club, and maybe private clubs in general. Do you have the conveyance systems in place to move water around once you've flooded up? Or to aerate the ponds to prevent the water from becoming stagnant?

During the Grasslands meeting held last Saturday, Bill Cook from LBWA said that on the refuges they have some deep wells and that if the water became too stagnant they have the systems in place to move water around to aerate it and keep it fairly fresh. This goes a long way to avoid the outbreaks we all fear. The conditions of stagnant, hot water with decomposing grasses, etc. in it lead to Botulism and cholera. It resides dormant in the soils all over the state, waiting for stagnant water to bring these anaerobic organisms out of their hibernation. So water quality is #1 form of prevention. Aeration, and the ability to flush areas with fresh water will help reduce outbreaks.

I guess this goes for most clubs too, is there the ability to keep water moving around the club to prevent it from becoming a stagnant and an anaerobic breeding ground for these diseases?

What WAS made abundantly clear by all of the folks on the panel last Saturday was that the private clubs are ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to try to provide as much habitat for the migration as possible. The refuges alone WERE NOT ENOUGH. These are people who know what they are doing partnering with conservation organizations like CWA, DU, Audobon, etc. All of these organizations have one thing in mind provide as much habitat as we can, to give the ducks the best chance at survival. Nature WILL find a way, and we may feel the affects of this drought for years to come. But the goal is to provide as much habitat as we can to the birds that will hopefully arrive in our part of the flyway.
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Re: Grasslands

Postby Beretta06 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:18 pm

No we don't. But that is why I chose to take water 50 days later then normal. And take 70% of our water by the 15th of October and bring the rest in as needed. We did not have problems in the late 80s under similar conditions. A well is in future plans. Funny thing is Deep wells a lot of times bring up high levels of stuff the state doesn't let in our drinking water. I suppose I could be like our neighbors and just take all the water in one shot and let it stagnate. Due to our club being wide open water and the footprint of the main pond. Runs with normal prevailing winds we do get optimum aeration and water movement naturally.
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Re: Grasslands

Postby LeakyW8ers » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:14 pm

Thanks for the information.

I hear you on the deep wells. That's why the Refuges only augment the surface water with it and use it to flush stagnant water around, from what I gathered from the meeting. They also said they could not get enough out of their wells to flood the refuge without impacting the water quality as well.
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Re: Grasslands

Postby Beretta06 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:53 pm

Our neighbors well has high arsenic content. I imagine we will run into the same thing considering how close their well is to us
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Re: Grasslands

Postby GGC » Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:45 pm

I heard that there are only one or two Grasslands clubs taking it all at once.

In my case, I'm taking water at the earliest availability, which for us is 9/23. We will take 85% of our allocation. That initial flood up will complete right around the opener. I'll be flooding around 70% of my floodable ground. We will be holding back around 500 acre/feet for refill that I'll take in November sometime, maybe early December if I'm lucky.

Here's the thing; 500 acre feet might raise my ponds 1"... maybe 1.5", it won't help with stagnation or algae... it will just float all that crap an inch or two higher. I'm not letting any water out and therefore any stagnation will stay... albeit ever so slightly diluted.

I originally asked for all of my water up front because of what I mentioned above. I really don't see a few hundred acres of water making any difference and initially I felt strongly that it looked like a "take it first or lose it" sort of water year. The guys at the GWD have convinced me that they will in fact be able to get my 500 acre/foot hold back to me up until 12/15. So given that, I figure even though it is only going to raise my stagnant water an inch or two it might give me another week to 10 days of shooting if we have zero rain.
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Re: Grasslands

Postby Beretta06 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:26 pm

True. That's kinda how I feel about the water. Will that 25% we held back be there who's to say some where along the way it doesn't get reallocated for other purposes as the water situation goes on and no rain. I work for a water district we had water in the San Luis reservoir in storage. The state reallocated to areas in worse shape. Here we did all the planing for a drought situation. We got screwed by others who did not plan ahead. What really keeps that from happening to grassland customers. Oh well the grasslands and ourselves came up with the best we could for our property. It is what it is. That extra 10 days it gets you with no rain. Could be the last 10 days for a while if it's doesn't rain right? lol

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Re: Grasslands

Postby Bootlipkiller » Fri Aug 22, 2014 4:27 am

I've seen plenty of disease outbreaks on refuges personally. Sutter had a catastrophic outbreak of avian cholera back in 2005. It was so bad the Feds ran air boats everyday for a week just to try and move birds out of the closed zones. The fact is outbreaks happen wherever birds congregate in large numbers and don't move.


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Re: Grasslands

Postby 3200 man » Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:52 am

GGC

That is very true ( available ) can mean may things as the season goes on !

Dwight

I'm not condemning your club or anyone elses , with this seasons reports ( to be at high alert ) with decease out-breaks
in our Grasslands Area , some water mangers won't recognize the beginnings of real problems they're in for ( along with
US ) ! Without the means to flush their ponds with fresh water all they can do is pull the boards and send it down to their
neighbor ( OH Wait ) , sounds to me like......we could have a real Problem Now ? :huh:

Time will tell as the Summers Temps will dictate , how fast this will happen ! you think ?
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Re: Grasslands

Postby Beretta06 » Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:50 pm

I think waterfowl numbers are soaring and Mother Nature will equalize it no mater how much human intervention there is. No mater how good my water plan is no mater how good yours is, no matter how good bill cooks plan is. That's just the way it is!

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Re: Grasslands

Postby LeakyW8ers » Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:20 pm

Beretta06 wrote:I think waterfowl numbers are soaring and Mother Nature will equalize it no mater how much human intervention there is. No mater how good my water plan is no mater how good yours is, no matter how good bill cooks plan is. That's just the way it is!

Dwight


Agree.

Until there's cold enough weather (read SNOW) up north to cover the food, the migration most likely will not make it down here in sizeable numbers until late in the season, or after it ends, anyway.
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Re: Grasslands

Postby quigby979 » Fri Aug 22, 2014 2:36 pm

I think that is a point that is not mentioned or forgotten Leaky. After the opening weekend hunt and a few weeks later when the local birds adapt and cling to the closed zones. We wait until the weather up north turns cold starting the migration. Last year the pacific flyway did not have that until the last 2 weeks. Mother nature has alot to do with the migration. I believe the ducks and geese adapt better than we do. I appreciate all the efforts made by the refuges, club owners and CWA, DU, that put alot of effort in protecting and maintaining habit for our sport. This season will be challenging and maybe fewer opportunities. But, I am just thankful that we have a season and I can still get out their to enjoy it.
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Re: Grasslands

Postby Beretta06 » Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:38 pm

I honestly did not see bird numbers change till closeing wensday last season by the Friday before closing teal and sprig numbers at our place were off the chart. Yes I shot closeing Friday it been a tradition for a couple decades. Hate me if you like.

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Re: Grasslands

Postby yolodc » Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:39 pm

Well said, Calikev.
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