Mattamuskeet Issues

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Mattamuskeet Issues

Postby HydeMarsh » Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:49 pm

Thought I would start a new thread so as to not take away from the one below regarding hunting Skeet blinds.
I saw several absolute declarations regarding what is and is not causing the problem with Sub Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) at Skeet as well as what is causing the water quality problem (which heavily affect SAV) .

I think Shurshot seemed convinced by Michelle's presentation that nutrients are the culprit and carp have nothing to do with it.

I will not pretend to be an expert but I have been very involved in this issue for some time and would like to offer the following observations.

If you move away from a government/Bureaucratic perspective an d look at it like a private sector business exec then In my humble opinion the number one objective for USFW at the Mattamuskeet National Wildlife refuge is to feed ducks.
In that regard they have been an abysmal failure.

It was my observation that the people that were passionate about ducks have not been at the refuge for at least 10 years and it really shows. The current refuge manager has no real credentials managing waterfowl and the (quote) "refuge biologist" that produced the report has no real credentials managing waterfowl and their environments. Thank goodness she left this summer.

There has been a significant study group working on this for quite some time. The issue with this group is the group is about studies not action. It could be saved by actions similar to the steps taken in the Chesapeake.

There is a significant body of evidence that shows there are many factors at work that contribute to the problem.

the first symptoms were the decline of bass and SAV in the west basin in the late 90's and early 2000's. It seemed to coincide with increase cotton farming in the ares that drain directly into the west basin. I do not think there has been study that coincided with the application of nutrients and herbicides on this crop. the toxic bacteria and death of SAV could possibly be traced to this. Water quality samples are taken but the timing of the samples is critical. A herbicide in water can have a detremental impact one day and be so diluted in a couple of days it is untracable.

Once the SAV started to disappear it concentrated the prey fish ( in this case carp) on on smaller amount of forage and a vicious cycle started. Less SAV caused sediments to stir with wind action which created the attenuation of light which also affected the SAV.

This is known and has been reported. What should happen now in my opinion and others with good knowledge of the situation is as follows:

(1) Stop cotton farming in a buffer area that drains to the lake. (If this creates hardship then create subsidies to offset loss)
(2) Stop the use of chicken waste as fertilizer in the same buffer areas. The same company that had such a samenelia issue disposes of its waste on fields adjacent to the lake. Too much nitrogen and heavy metals drain into the lake.
(3) Net the carp, we could redirect the Hyde county flounder netters to killing carp and solve 2 issues.
Replant the lake with southern naidia, water celery and sago.
(4) Put sophisticated water monitoring devices in all ditches and canals that drain into the lake and get real time data on what is going in and when.

As I said these are just my humble opinions and I think there is a lot of data to substaintiate thir validity.

As a note I did attend several of the work sessions and reports. I also have undergraduate degrees in soil science and crop science.
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Re: Mattamuskeet Issues

Postby SwampGoat » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:31 pm

Why cotton vs beans/corn?
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Re: Mattamuskeet Issues

Postby EastBound&Down » Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:33 am

Good post Hyde
This is an issue that should of been addressed 10+ years ago instead of letting the ship totally sink. Gov at its best
I kill more ducks in one week on public water than you and your "Crews" or "Teams" would even think of killing all season. I work hard, scout and abide by the law...but still kill the crap out of ducks.
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Re: Mattamuskeet Issues

Postby echoduck » Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:28 pm

SwampGoat wrote:Why cotton vs beans/corn?

Different chemicals, west side is heavy in cotton production.
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Re: Mattamuskeet Issues

Postby SwampGoat » Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:29 pm

echoduck wrote:
SwampGoat wrote:Why cotton vs beans/corn?

Different chemicals, west side is heavy in cotton production.

By different chemicals you mean pix and defoliants? Defoliants are applied once right before harvest and pix is a growth regulator that is applied a couple times throughout the season- All the other herbicides/insecticides are pretty much used in every other crop with a couple minor differences-
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Re: Mattamuskeet Issues

Postby ncbufflehead » Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:30 pm

Cotton farming is killing everything. The more cotton they grow, the more dead water we have in the sounds every year after they spray it.
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Re: Mattamuskeet Issues

Postby Paul26 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:24 am

I know very little on the specifics of the lake issue. However what you are all saying is consistent with what my Hyde County once-a-year hunting host tells us. He threw an amazing stat at me a couple years ago. He said there was 2000% (not a typo: two thousand) more land being cleared/farmed/fertilized today than in the late 60’s in Hyde.

If improperly managed (and it appears it was) I can only imagine the revenge Mother Nature is taking.

I sometimes think the viciousness of the weather in the past few years has been her way of flipping us the bird. “Pollute me, develop everything, spew crap in the air, dump garbage in my this, you poor ignorant people”.
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Re: Mattamuskeet Issues

Postby NCGWP » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:36 am

Great Post!

I wonder if the powers that be could somehow pass something to incentivize farmers around the lake to enroll in a CRP type program.

Too bad we can't grow rice in ENC.
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Re: Mattamuskeet Issues

Postby Shurshot » Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:51 pm

A lot of would have/should haves here. This problem didn’t just happen over night, concerns have been raised and addressed Many years ago. It’s to the point however where it’s reached critical mass as more people obviously are finding out about it. Below is a link addressing the issue and the actions that are being implemented at this time. I personally know one of the main persons doing research on this for the last six years and as he says you can't make informed decisions without first having the science to support the action. This problem is complex and there’s a lot to it. We all hope it will get turned around soon and headed back in the right direction. ... storation/
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Re: Mattamuskeet Issues

Postby MakeApile » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:32 pm

If the carp are there someone put them there because they did not want grass there. Local lakes all over the state have suffered the same fate recently. I cannot say for 100% its all on the carp but maybe look at what new crop chemicals were introduced in the last 10 years as well. Speaking from seeing this first hand at my local lake the grass began to disappear about 8-10 years ago at the introduction of around 50 thousand of grass carp. Prior to this the hunting on the lake was excellent and the lake held numbers of ducks all season. The grass is all but gone now and so are the ducks. Crop farming in the area hasn't increased in the last 10 years, actually probably less due to housing development. The bottoms of the lake are bare or green algae slime, and the ducks only stop in to rest and leave as soon as rested usually within a day of arrival, far from their behavior and numbers 10 years ago. This lake is not surrounded by impoundments so one cannot say they are pulling ducks off. This pattern is happening at many lakes across the country and cannot be good for the waterfowl population as a whole in the Atlantic flyway.

Its time for Duck Organizations such and Ducks Unlimited and Delta to unite and put their money where their mouth is and do something about this major issue before the damage is irreparable. These groups need to help get legislation passed to stop these municipalities from putting in carp and intentionally killing the grass with chemicals, simply because they think the grass is displacing too much water (yes this is the reason given). These local municipalities that draw drinking water from these lakes are quietly intentionally destroying SAV at the expense of waterfowl and fish habitat. This is coming from first hand knowledge that the and actually seeing the truck drive up and put the grass carp in the lake.
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