DU Project Update - Grasslands Wildlife Area

CA-510-1; N. Grasslands WA: Gadwall Unit Eastside Water Conveyance Enhancement

The Gadwall Unit is part of the North Grasslands Wildlife Area and consists of over 1,600 acres of wetlands, managed uplands, and native uplands that provide year-round benefits to a wide array of local and migratory wildlife species.

It is also one of the most popular waterfowl hunting destinations in the Central Valley, consistently ranking high among public hunt areas for harvested bird average per hunter. This California Duck Stamp funded project will enhance 415 acres of palustrine emergent wetlands on the eastside of the Gadwall Unit. Due to dilapidated and outdated water control structures, wetland habitat currently lacks efficient water conveyance infrastructure for optimal wetland management capabilities, and managers currently lack the ability to adequately convey water to seasonal wetlands, which has degraded wildlife habitat recently. This wetland enhancement project will involve installation of new, more efficient and longer lasting water control structures that allow water depth control and improved water conveyance. Wetland managers will be able to produced improved annual vegetation, providing critical food resources for migratory waterfowl. Additionally, shorebirds and wading birds will benefit from improved wetland habitats through this project. Work on this project is currently underway and is expected to be completed in August 2012 and fully operational for the 12/13 waterfowl season.