Meritt...what's missing...O yeah.. THE DUCKS !

Discussion in 'Florida Flyway Forum' started by Waterfowl fool, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. dakota31400

    dakota31400 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    775
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    ND/GA/FL
    Bender,

    40 years ago.....the jig was up 20 years ago.

    And back then, there were no L or M ponds, or any fresh water to speak of. Didn't matter where you hunted, your shot gun was rusted before sunrise.
    The few impoundments that were managed back then would be so packed with submergent vegetation by the end of summer, you couldn't see the water....By the end of August...yes August, migratory waterfowl had already cropped the growth to the roots. See, 40 years ago, the ducks started showing up in August (teal)and September (all species), and by christmas, what was comming had come.....back then season ended around January 1st.

    The guys from UWF are trying to help, but they no not where the finish line was, or how the course changed.

    Unfortunately, their primary objective is to maintain populations of ducks to shoot by modifying the habitat, not restoring it.

    IMO, their first mistake is believing there are enough historical waterfowl progeny that still winter there to sustain demand. Secondly, they know a serious attempt at restoration would devistate the hunting until nature righted the wrong.......next gereration type stuff....no gain there.

    Trying to have both (ducks and an impounded coastal marsh) is not possible for the long term. The evidence has presented itself over and over, worldwide.....the creation of impounments throughout the Indian and Bananna River systems sped up the time frame of succession.. Fifty years ago, the change (after impounment) was in a stage that attracted waterfowl. Today, the place, now in time, has moved forward and away from a ducky situation. Nature wants to grow forest behind those dikes, man wants a place to dump stormwater and a marsh to shoot ducks......you tell me who's gonna win.

    The only way to recreate what was is to tear down the dikes and walk away.........hunt somewhere else...have your great-great-grandkids check it out again in about 100 years.....then impound it again and wait.
     
  2. mottler

    mottler Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    3,261
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2003
    Location:
    Merritt Is. Florida
    Thats funny those marshes were all there on the 1940's army aerial photo's I looked at and they built the dikes right along the existing shorelines. They just made them from 2' high to 10' Cut right thru most of the shoreline Indian Middens to do it.
     
  3. dakota31400

    dakota31400 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    775
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    ND/GA/FL
    And thus, between 1940 and 1960 transformed into backwater attractions for waterfowl, then in time to mudholes approximately the same time the rivers deteriorated into sewers. Now we have recovering sewers bordered by mudholes.
     
  4. mottler

    mottler Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    3,261
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2003
    Location:
    Merritt Is. Florida
    Not even close. The river is in good shape with clear water full of redfish and trout and all those mud holes are full of Chara and Ruppia. There's thousands of wigeon and other thousands of pintails on Blackpoint. The rebound is in effect. I'm sorry your area of 40 years ago is changed some but it's doing just fine as it is. Instead of just a bunch of divers we have divers and puddle ducks. It's different but not ruined. The pics Du lifer put up look pretty good for mud holes.
     
  5. dakota31400

    dakota31400 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    775
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    ND/GA/FL
    I also acknowleged the river's improvement earlier. It is looking good.....but 2 things regarding your post hang over my head..

    I have no means of knowing those pics were from MI...especially since those pintail exhibit plumage characteristic of a March or April display.

    2nd...if I saw a panaramic view of those pics......would pintail ducks exceed the lense angle?

    The next time pods of 80-100 widgeon, 20-50 pintail or 1000+ Bluebill lock into my decoys, I'll be sure to let you know.:yes

    I'll be back there shortly to check it out with the kid.

    In the mean time....here's about the best you can expect this time of year.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  6. du lifer

    du lifer Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    549
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Space Coast FL
    Your fond reminisce is what you say it is? Not a bunch of crap? Funny, I posted these on several forums and many folk had no problem identifying not only that they were at MINWR, but also the specific location at MINWR where they were. And you can't tell???...hmmm.

    I've shot birds this mature, this time of year, camera and gun.

    BTW, I did read the entire thread.

    This is another mud hole in MINWR on 12/04/08 - last Thursday; I think you'll find mostly wigeon here, at least it sounded that way.

    [​IMG]

    Hitch
     
  7. du lifer

    du lifer Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    549
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Space Coast FL
    [​IMG]

    ..and mature Pins 12-04-08, 13:30:56 to be exact...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. pinman62

    pinman62 Refuge Member

    Messages:
    77
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    I know where those photos were taken and you will not find a greater number of "stickers" than in that spot. They are here earlier than usual this year.
     
  9. dakota31400

    dakota31400 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    775
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    ND/GA/FL
    Du Lufer...I haven't set foot inside the refuge in 20 years.....never had a reason to. I'm a river hunter. The ducks on MI always hang out where management paints the target....that is, until the vegetation is devoured. Then they move on....always have and always will. When the river shorelines look like your impoundment photos once again, as they did once upon a time, maybe my attitude will change. But even then, back in the day, I realize the waterfowl windfall was man made from thosedikes back in the 40's.

    As far as the plumage goes....a very rare sight for this time of year.....a real surprise to me...or maybe there simply are no more younger birds left, and those few breeders are all there are....but then again, I still think your pulling my chain. If not, you certainly captured some real special photos...I suggest you get back out there for more photos fast....they'll be gone inside a week. While your at it, try driving 1 mile in any direction and take some pics.

    Don't get defensive, I'm glad someone is trying to keep some birds around. But I'm a realist these days....learned well over the years being on the offensive side, being the idealistic optimist..You gotta be willing to lock hornes and lick your wounds to stand that ground for any length of time.

    BTW, the pics are beautiful.

    So you think the river is healthy:pra.....you apparently never saw that river when it was a productive ecosystem. The bottom so thick with grass it was impossible to transverse by foot....or by boat in 2-3 feet of water without having to pull the grass off your prop every 50 yards..It's obvious you didn't grow up on that river in my day. Remember, production is not measured in ducks or fish....it's total net biomass, including, but not limited to the collective of.....bacteria, algae, plankton, grass, submergent vegetation, mangrove, crustaceans, fishes, reptiles, birds and mammals.

    Hey, you want ducks, why not seal the entire refuge off (water tight) and use de-salinated riverwater to keep the marsh full. plant some lilly pads and toss in some hydrilla.. maybe a touch of hyacinth for that St.Johns scenic effect....The ducks and hunters would love it.......It sounds like your calling. Stop dicking around and get to work.

    For me, I'd just like to watch a mangove root play it's part in trapping sediment to cleanse the water, provide safe haven for fry and give crustaceans a place to develope during the larval stages....That was Gods Plan, not mine..but who's to say your not right.

    simply a difference of opinion.

    It is quite apparent your end project objective is ducks, and not an esturaine ecosystem.

    And since you don't seem to think I've been around, ask your USFWS guys there to dig out the old scrap-books depicting university studies from 1979 to 1981.....I'll be the live capture and release guy in the photos drawing blood from trapped waterfowl to evalute the status of lead poisioning in the wintering birds.
     
  10. mottler

    mottler Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    3,261
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2003
    Location:
    Merritt Is. Florida
    Because the extremists who want to restore everything will not let desal plants get built. The plan was to build them where the polluting dinosaur burning powerplants are but they threatened to sue saying if they stop pumping warm water all the manatees will die. ps the dikes were started in 1959 and continued for quite some time.
     

Share This Page