California -- Refuge Gun Club - Wetland Restoration and Enhancement, Colusa County
The Refuge Gun Club is a 212-acre private duck hunting club located adjacent to the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. The area consists of seasonal wetlands managed to provide habitat for migrating and wintering waterfowl and waterfowl hunting. Some water is retained through spring and early summer to provide brood rearing habitat for waterfowl in accordance with a Conservation Reserve Program contract with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The property is protected in perpetuity through a conservation easement held by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The area’s wetlands have degraded and are far below their potential to provide high quality habitat for waterfowl and other species. The existing water delivery and control system is degraded. High topographic variation within several of the units prevents proper water distribution. Some internal levees are degraded and many internal levees are not needed and unnecessarily divide the area into small unmanageable units.
This project will improve 195 acres of habitat. DU has already conducted a topographic survey and prepared an engineering design for habitat improvement. DU is now developed the engineering design. Project work will include removing and improving/relocating interior levees, improving/regrading exterior levees, recontouring the land, regrading existing swales and constructing new swales, removing spoil piles that now impede water distribution, removing degraded water control structures and installing new water control structures to improve water distribution. Work will also be done to enhance water and vegetation management capabilities, including constructing islands, mounds, and submerged benches for planting native wetland trees, shrubs, and tule clumps to provide structural diversity in wetlands. All this will provide proper fill and drain capabilities to wetlands and allow water to be used efficiently for habitat management. It will provide topographic conditions that will support a desirable mix of open water and emergent vegetation.
The result will be improved habitat conditions for a variety of wetland-dependent wildlife. Waterfowl species that will benefit most will include mallard, gadwall, northern pintail, and green-winged teal.