Ducks Unlimited recently completed another series of habitat enhancement projects on the California Department of Fish and Game's Honey Lake Wildlife Area (WA), located in the Great Basin region of California near Susanville. These projects improved water-delivery and water-use efficiency to enhance nearly 200 acres of managed wetlands and 600 acres of managed uplands on the Fleming and Dakin units. In addition to providing habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife, these project areas will also offer public waterfowling and pheasant hunting opportunities.

Water for habitat management is very hard to come by in the arid Great Basin region. To conserve water and reduce the amount of labor required to manage water delivery, DU and the California Fish and Game are installing pipelines to replace irrigation ditches and more efficiently use limited water supplies. The new pipelines are fitted with bubbler valves, which are used to flood irrigate managed uplands. These valves have replaced ditch siphon hoses, drastically reducing the time and labor required to irrigate the same acreage.

In total, more than 14,000 feet of pipeline was installed on these recently completed projects. Also, several center-pivot irrigation systems were installed, replacing flood-irrigation or wheel-line irrigation systems and resulting in further efficiencies. Project partners included the California Department of Fish and Game, the Wildlife Conservation Board, and Pheasants Forever.