Mr.L wrote: Our blind off Bird Island point was as dry as my yard on opening morning. That has never happened in all the many years I have hunted at that spot. .......... When the Catahoula Wildlife Refuge managed the gate manually at the diversion canal there never was a problem.
Well I wish someone would have told them what a good job they were doing, because they claimed it was all the grief from hunters about their operations that was the major reason they baled out on the Tri-Party agreement in 2009. They claimed it was an undue burden on their manpower ...... not to operate the structure, but to respond to all the feedback, complaints, and demands for action from Catahoula Lake hunters.
But lets step back for a moment and show that what you are saying is not true. I can't know what was happening at your blind site, but I can know what date we hit 29.5 during the re-flooding period.
We were all frustrated about last year, Sanchez Oil conflict, late drawdowns and all. We actually started to reflood EARLIER than allowed. Indeed, here is what the Tri-Party agreement says about reflooding:No less than 10 days and no more than 15 days before the duck season opens, close diversion canal structure and open Archie structure to raise water gradually to 29.0 to 29.5 feet.
So according to your own description, we were re-flooding the lake sooner than 15 days prior to the opening day. But it came up more slowly than the Corp intended, and we didn't know why. One thing Steve Smith did was look at the date our flooding reached 29.5 in the last 10 years, compared it to opening day, and looked to see if we had rain during that re-flooding period. And here's what he found:
2003 we started flooding Nov. 1 reached 29.5 on Nov. 22 and opening day was Nov. 15 (7 days late)
2005 we started flooding Nov. 4 reached 29.5 on Nov. 27 and opening day was Nov. 19 (10 days late)
2007 we started flooding Nov. 3 reached 29.5 on Nov. 22 and opening day was Nov. 17 (5 days late)
2010 we started flooding Nov. 10 reached 29.5 on Nov. 30 and opening day was Nov. 20 (10 days late)
2011 we started flooding Nov. 4 reached 29.5 on Nov. 27 and opening day was Nov. 19 (8 days late)
So in 6 of the last 10 years, we have not been at 29.5 by opening day of the duck season, and in 5 of those years (no rainfall data in 2007), we received no rainfall during the re-flooding period which we did get in the 4 years where we reached 29.5 (and way, way above in at least one year). The USFWS was responsible for 3 of those 6 years.
In 3 of those 6 years, we weren't even at 29.0 by opening day, which is the boundary set by the Tri-Party agreement, so we've got some issues to figure out.