Ducks Unlimited will complete a three-year project on the Prewitt Reservoir State Wildlife Area (SWA) this year. The area is northeast of Denver, along the South Platte River. The project is in an area of the reservoir open to public hunting. The goal of the Prewitt project is to enhance more than 450 acres of habitat, including cattail-choked marshes below the reservoir’s dam and wetlands near its shore.
Last year, DU installed a water-control structure on a marsh below the reservoir’s dam. This summer, DU will install a series of terraces near the inlet to the reservoir. The structure will allow Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) managers to control water levels and create more open water in the marsh, improving spring habitat conditions and hunting opportunities.
"If you think of the reservoir as a big bath tub, you have to fill the bottom of the tub before the water can get up to the top where the best duck habitat is. We are putting the terraces in at the top of the reservoir so we don’t have to add as much water to flood habitat where wildlife can use it," said Matt Reddy, DU regional biologist.
The project is part of DU’s Prewitt Reservoir Partnership with a goal to restore all of the waterfowl habitats in reach of the reservoir. To date, the partnership has spent more than $1 million conserving nearly 5,000 acres of habitat associated with Prewitt. Partners include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the North American Wetlands Council, the Playa Lakes Joint Venture, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Colorado Water Conservation Board, Great Outdoors Colorado, Colorado Open Lands and the Prewitt Reservoir Company.