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Postby duckdog » Sat Mar 19, 2005 11:05 pm

A slough where I live has been drained recently, it is roughly 500 acre's, and last year the muskrat's came back into it very heavily. Have'nt had to many rat's around for quite sometime. After duck, and goose season closed the DNR drained the lake by pulling the boards out of the outlet. I heard they did this to try and drive the rat's out, and get more cattail's to grow, for better nasting for the duck's. I'm all for better nesting ground's, my only questoin's are that 10 to 15 year's ago there were rat's all over this area, and there seemed to be more cattail's around, and more duck's, and if they do drive the rat's out, is'nt a muskrat house used commonly by geese to have a nest on, not for sure if duck's use them or not. I am not for sure if the info I have been told about the slough being drained for that purpose is true or not either. Thank's for any input.
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Postby h2ofwlr » Mon Mar 21, 2005 5:53 pm

Actually it is called adraw down. For Cattailos to restablish the slough bottom needs to be exposed and dry--the open cracks collect the cattail seeds and when the rains refill it=they grow. Too often the natural cycle of dry spells are being interupted from the all the ditches/tiles that run into a slough. So they artifically create a drought by dropping the water level. Do not expect to hunt it this fall though, as they normally keep it dry until mid summer at least. But I have seen sloughs opn and deviod of ducks and 2 years later it is teaming with ducks due to the new emirgent vegitation that is growing in the shallow water. Generally a full drawdown has a lasting positive effect of 5 to 7 years time.

As for the 'Rats, well they love to eat the cattail roots--which kills the cattails. Kind or like the Snow gees are grubbers and eat roots and all up on the Artic summer grounds and thus kill off all vegetation from over population. 'Rats are a similar type of thing.

And cattails have little to due will nesting cover. Puddlers nest upland is the grasses. But Divers do nest in the emigergent vegitation, but I doubt too many are that far south for nesting as they generally nest from N MN throughout the CA boreal forests as I recall. But the cattails prevent wave action thus making for clear water, which results in sago pond weed, wild celery, etc... to grow which attracts macroinvertbrates (fresh water shrimp-scuds)which the ducks love to eat in the sprinf and fall on their migratation.

I hope this help explain the basical theories on draw downs.
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