Mississippi Pool 16?

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Mississippi Pool 16?

Postby jscheirer » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:55 pm

I'm looking for more places to hunt during the off season now and am curious about Pool 16. My main question pertains to the "Open Hunting Area" in the upper pool. In this area can you just go out and pick any spot you want in the limits while maintaining distance with other hunters? I'd love to go into some backwater sloughs scouting and find a good spot. Also, if this is how hunting there works, is it very shallow back in the creeks? Is a shallow drive boat and motor a must?

Thanks for any input you guys might have.
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Re: Mississippi Pool 16?

Postby riverrat47 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:27 pm

The majority of the backwaters have staked blinds, part of the draw. Basically, the open hunting area is Andalusia Slough.
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Re: Mississippi Pool 16?

Postby jscheirer » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:02 pm

Is the slough your talking about downstream from Andalusa? The DNR website shows the area between I-280 and Andalusa is the open area
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Re: Mississippi Pool 16?

Postby riverrat47 » Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:46 am

Just dug out the blind map. Yes, the staked blind areas is downstream of Andalusia.
It's been a few years since I walked around Andalusia Island, or even hunted that area, but many of the staked blinds were extremely shallow sloughs, requiring a mud motor. A fair number of the staked blinds don't get built in low water years. I noticed that many of the "regulars" had smaller, lighter boats with mud motors for hunting the slough blinds. (I wouldn't have risked crossing Andalusia Slough with their rigs if there was much wind out of the west, as the Slough can be very rough.)
I spent many years hunting, fishing and working on the river in that area. Most of the waterfowling I saw in the open area was for divers.
Many of the sloughs shown are unaccessable or dry, except during high water. With several major flood events since I hunted/fished that area, I would imagine that access to most backwaters has just gotten worse.
When I started hunting that area, in the mid `80's, there were a pretty fair number of ducks, of all species, using the area. It was pretty fair hunting. By `04-`05, I just wasn't even seeing that many ducks in the air.
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Re: Mississippi Pool 16?

Postby Ed L. » Fri May 03, 2013 6:21 am

I trust you've pulled the maps from the DNR site. The maps haven't been updated in some time. There's indications of water on the maps in the open area but frankly these have been dried up for some time now. You just neeed to get out and scout. There is only one cut thought the islands these days and that's called Velie Shute. Like Riverrat said most of the back waters are only accessible with a small boat with a mud motor. A 15 mph wind out of the west can make the slough very nasty and that type a boat a coffin. There was a guy last year I was told that got stuck with a Prodrive outfit. Just like a 4x4 when your stuck with a mud motor your stuck! Many guys use floating blinds any more and some of them haul them in with an airboat then wait until spring and high water to pull them out during the draw years.

Seems to me the ducks bypass the Quad Cities for the most part anymore staging in pool 13 then flying cross country and coming back to the river below Burlington, IA or flying at night now navigating with the bright lights of the river towns.

Take care,

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Re: Mississippi Pool 16?

Postby riverrat47 » Fri May 03, 2013 7:55 am

Ed L.,
I'm glad you said that as I've noticed the same thing in this area. When I moved to this area, mid `80's, there were enough ducks to keep it interesting, from Pool 16 thru 18. I hunted hard up to `94, always having enough shooting. I haven't drawn a blind since, due to bad luck and other committments. After doing little waterfowling, i tried to get back into it, after getting a lab in `97. A combination of few ducks and the hassles of jumping a blind ended my hunting in Pool 16. I did have a little success in Pool 18 for several years, but it seems to be dropping in quality now, too.
For the past dozen years or so, I don't even see many ducks working the fields, from the Quad Cities to Keithsburg. In 2004, I hunted with a guy in Pool 18. We went 12 times, from 1 Nov. to Thanksgiving, and did not see ONE DUCK! It wasn't just us, either. In talking to other hunters at the ramp & listening for shots, we found that everyone was experiencing similar luck.
I have friends in Iowa who say the ducks aren't coming this far east, but going down the Missouri River, instead. One, an Iowa GW, says he sees more ducks on his annual week-long trip to western Iowa than he sees on the Miss all season.
I can't say where they are going, or if the record flights even exist...except on paper, but they sure don't use the Miss, at least from Andalusia to Oquawka.
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Re: Mississippi Pool 16?

Postby justinduckman7 » Fri May 03, 2013 8:35 am

Pool 16 is hit and miss from what i understand.Couple buddies of mine shot some birds down their last yr for about a week.They also got in to some geese really late in the yr.I know i only hunted it oncelast yr and alls i saw was the crow i killed when it came threw the decoys.I will tell you if you plan on hunting pool 16 use boat blind and scout alot this summer so you dont tear your stuff up.
(IF IT FLIES IT DIES AND IF IT SITS THEIR IT STILL DIES ) Let's go shoot their faces off
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Re: Mississippi Pool 16?

Postby rism » Mon May 06, 2013 8:40 am

Guys - Might be just me but I noticed a lot of changes immediately after the flood of 1993. I was a salesman on the road before and after that . Saw tons of ducks before the flood and really continuing to diminish after that. The Missouri Dept. of Conservation bought a lot of the land that flooded in 93. Let the Ole Mississippi go back to claiming what was rightfully hers. That created hundreds of thousands of acres that used to be levied off. They also started planting corn and millet . In the good years the corn gets flooded. They don't pump or anything, just let mother nature be herself. Usually fall rains flood the corn and millet and they have a duck haven. The ducks that used to use pools 16 18 19 now go on south to the Missouri side. From just south of Keokuk, Ia all the way to St. Louis there is a paradise of food and rest areas between the Missouri Dept. of Conservation and all the private clubs. You want ducks you have to have food !! Illinois has done nothing and will continue to do little to nothing. They are broke for the next 50 years plus and unable (unwilling ?) to do anything about it. Go to the aerial duck surveys and look at the counts up and down the Mississippi and track the changes for as far back as you can. I have been keeping track for a long time and it is quite evident when you start comparing.
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Re: Mississippi Pool 16?

Postby riverrat47 » Mon May 06, 2013 1:49 pm

rism,
Actually, it started before `93. When ole Willie Nelson started doing "Farm AID" concerts, in the late `80's and early `90's, is when it started. A bunch of farms in levee districts failed, way moreso along the Missouri River than the Miss. or Illinois rivers. Enough failed farms in a levee district equaled an insolvent levee district. Farm Credit (federal program) offered the ground to natural resource agencies for free, just to get them off the books. Iowa and Missouri took almost every piece of property that was offered.
Iowa ended up with quite a bit of ground along the Missouri. Their DNR simply broke field tiles, blocked drainage ditches and quit pumping these failed drainage districts, creating a tremendous amount of habitat on the western side of the state. That is why I said we have to have the perfect storm, aka: a full fledged migration coupled with strong, sustained west winds to see many ducks along the upper portion of the Miss.
To add insult to injury, every farmer I've talked to has bought a new combine in the past year or two, probably because of the high corn prices. Walk a field immediately after picking. There is ziltch for food, thus this area is just a fly over.
If you happen to be in the blind when the birds drop in for a drink or rest, you'll have a good day. But the birds won't stay....there is nothing to keep them.
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Re: Mississippi Pool 16?

Postby rism » Tue May 07, 2013 7:51 am

rr47 - I didn't know about the Iowa part of it. I knew when they built Red Rock a lot of ducks started stopping there that had been going to the Mississippi. Here in Macomb where I live we have a city resevoir north of town that I used to duck hunt on. That was when the ducks would pool up south of Nauvoo. I could almost guarantee you a limit of mallards on a bright sunny day with any kind of w to nw wind. Ducks would go east from Nauvoo to feed. Always some that would drift on south east to here when they were done. NW wind @ 15 - 25 on a sunny day would be gangbusters. Those days are gone since they don't stop on the Mississippi any longer. I don't hunt the local lake any more, haven't for quite a few years. One of my brothers does. They have the 2nd best blind on the lake. It got hunted 50 days last year. 25 ducks total. Mostly divers.
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Re: Mississippi Pool 16?

Postby waterfowler9 » Tue May 07, 2013 3:16 pm

Never really understood why anyone would want to hunt spring lake. But like you mentioned under the right circumstances it may produce. Always seemed little to far off the beaten path form the IL or Miss.
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Re: Mississippi Pool 16?

Postby straitkilla02 » Thu May 09, 2013 11:14 pm

There are plenty of birds using the area between pool 16 and pool 18. I hunted around 45 days last year on pool 18 and had my best season ever. Shot birds consistently all season. And I was hunting one of the highest pressure spots you will ever see. 13 other blinds within eye sight in the bay we were hunting.
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Re: Mississippi Pool 16?

Postby jscheirer » Fri May 10, 2013 12:09 am

I guess I'll just have to head over that way sometime when I can find time. Never even been in that area before. But thanks for all the input and info, i'm just looking for some new areas to hunt and try them out.
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Re: Mississippi Pool 16?

Postby Ed L. » Tue May 21, 2013 6:36 pm

straitkilla02 wrote:There are plenty of birds using the area between pool 16 and pool 18. I hunted around 45 days last year on pool 18 and had my best season ever. Shot birds consistently all season. And I was hunting one of the highest pressure spots you will ever see. 13 other blinds within eye sight in the bay we were hunting.


I lieu of what I said above I can't disagree with your assessment of last year. I live on Campbells Island in pool 15 and hunt from South of Dubuque, IA to Keithsburg, IL. I haven't seen as many ducks on the river since I was a wee lad back in the 60's. I had divers in my backyard starting in November through February. I saw more Mallards than I've seen in years. I saw Shovelers, gaddies, Mergs, Pintails. I had Ruddy ducks in my backyard and more Buffies and GE's than I ever saw. I had Cans and Redheads which I've never had but with all that said I attribute that to the drought conditions in the Midwest and the Mississippi Valley flyway. With the river cresting this spring with record high water in some places (The river here is finally going down after being well above flood stage since the beginning of April) and NOAA suggesting we have rebounded from last years drought I hope we don't return to business as usual this coming season.
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Re: Mississippi Pool 16?

Postby Ed L. » Tue May 21, 2013 6:48 pm

riverrat47 wrote:rism,
To add insult to injury, every farmer I've talked to has bought a new combine in the past year or two, probably because of the high corn prices. Walk a field immediately after picking. There is ziltch for food, thus this area is just a fly over.
If you happen to be in the blind when the birds drop in for a drink or rest, you'll have a good day. But the birds won't stay....there is nothing to keep them.


riverrat47,

You got that right. I'm an engineer working at the big green farm machine company. It's amazing the amount of R&D dollars that are spent in achieving zero crop lost. It's also a little hard when your a waterfowler, pheasant hunter or deer hunter and you have to beg for just a little habitat and food but in the office I have to have the all green and customer first additude.
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Re: Mississippi Pool 16?

Postby riverrat47 » Thu May 23, 2013 8:00 am

Ed L.,
Did the Island sustain flooding this year?
I spent over a week there in `93, walking around in chest waders and hippers as the water dropped, assessing damage. If I remember correctly, many of the dwellings were flooded well above 1st floor window level.

At Big Green, did you know a guy named Dan Ernat? I thought he worked in Engineering, but not sure...Of course, I do realize that Engineering isn't just a one room office. He trained one of my dogs.
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Re: Mississippi Pool 16?

Postby Ed L. » Mon May 27, 2013 7:44 pm

riverrat47 wrote:Ed L.,
Did the Island sustain flooding this year?
I spent over a week there in `93, walking around in chest waders and hippers as the water dropped, assessing damage. If I remember correctly, many of the dwellings were flooded well above 1st floor window level.

At Big Green, did you know a guy named Dan Ernat? I thought he worked in Engineering, but not sure...Of course, I do realize that Engineering isn't just a one room office. He trained one of my dogs.


Naw, flooding this year wasn't to major. The channel side flooded with water over the road. I live on the slough side up river from the bridge. I don't recall anyone forced out of their homes this year thank goodness. My home was destroyed in the 2000 flood. Since then most of us have elevated so flooding isn't a real big issue any more.

Don't know Dan but I work in current product engineering at Harvester Works in the header group. It's a small group.
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