Ducks Unlimited recently partnered with the Wildlife Conservation Board and the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) to enhance 135 acres of wetlands and restore eight acres of upland nesting habitat in Field 18 at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area (WA) in California's Sacramento Valley.

Gray Lodge WA, owned and managed by the CDFG, is one of the most important wetland areas in the Pacific Flyway. The area supports up to 1 million ducks and 100,000 geese during winter, making the 9,200-acre wetland complex important to waterfowl and hunters alike. Gray Lodge WA receives more than 60,000 visitors per year, including hunters and wildlife watchers, who can view more than 300 species of wildlife from a public platform along the Field 18 southern boundary.

This project improved water distribution, increased efficiency of water movement, and provided proper drain-and-fill capabilities in Field 18. It improved water and vegetation management so wetlands can be managed to increase food production and support a desirable mix of open water and emergent vegetation. Project work will allow CDFG to maintain summer water in portions of the area to provide waterfowl brood habitat and public viewing opportunities.