Mattamuskeet Issues

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Mattamuskeet Issues

Postby HydeMarsh » Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:52 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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