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Ducks Unlimited and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department teamed up to maintain water levels and exceptional waterfowl habitat on 25 acres of Hirst Marsh Wildlife Management Area after the beavers responsible for the marsh’s formation vacated their large dam. DU and NHFGD replaced the beaver dam with an earthen and concrete dam and water-control structure.
Marshland vegetation is comprised mainly of cattails, grasses and sedges, with emergent aquatic vegetation surrounding open marsh. A small island with shrubby vegetation provides excellent nesting cover for ground-nesting waterfowl.
The NHFGD has maintained wood duck nesting boxes in Hirst Marsh since 1978, with high utilization by wood ducks and hooded mergansers. Mallards and American black ducks are also known to nest in the marsh. Fall migrants include green- and blue-winged teal. Other common wildlife species include beaver, muskrat, otter, fisher, white-tailed deer and common turtle species.
Hirst Marsh Wildlife Management Area is adjacent to another 490 acres of habitat managed by the city of Concord, N.H. There is public access to the WMA for hunting, fishing and other wildlife-oriented recreational activities.
This project was funded in part by a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA)
New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, North American Wetlands Conservation Council and Ducks Unlimited