Ducks Unlimited will restore wetland habitat along Firesteel Creek to provide habitat to waterfowl and other wildlife. The project will also benefit water quality in the creek that eventually flows into Lake Mitchell, a popular lake outside of the city of Mitchell. The lake is suffering from severe water quality issues related to excessive algae growth caused by high levels of phosphorous and other pollutants.
Restoring this wetland will help keep pollutants from eventually flowing into Lake Mitchell. The project also includes fence construction along the creek to keep cattle away from the creek during the hot summer months. The James River Water Development District recently offered Ducks Unlimited $2,000 in cost-share assistance for the project.
Wetlands are a natural filter that help improve water quality. Livestock manure and agricultural fertilizers are the main sources of water quality problems in Firesteel Creek and other prairie rivers and lakes. Restoring wetlands in this landscape is a natural way of improving habitat for ducks, pheasants and many other species of wildlife while also improving water quality in streams, rivers and lakes, which are important sources of recreation for the citizens of South Dakota.
More at The Mitchell Republic.