Ducks Unlimited has a long history of partnering with the Los Banos Wildlife Area, California's first wildlife area, on waterfowl habitat conservation projects. As part of its Grasslands Ecological Area - Phase 3 North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant activities, DU recently completed work on Fields 63, 65, 66 and 69a at Los Banos.

Field 69a

This project enhanced moist soil management and reverse cycle wetland management on 150 acres of seasonal wetlands at the Los Banos Wildlife Area's Field 69a. Impoundment levees were improved, water conveyance channels excavated and concrete weirs installed to maintain optimal water depths for waterfowl foraging in the fall and winter.

Los Banos Wildlife Area Field 69a soon after construction.

Fields 63, 65 and 66

This project involved restoration of semipermanent wetlands and riparian corridors, seasonal wetlands and upland grasslands in fields 63, 65 and 66. The project conserved 260 acres that the California Department of Fish and Game will manage to provide seasonal wetlands and upland forage for wintering ducks and geese. In addition, the areas conserved will maintain riparian habitat, along with semipermanent wetlands and associated grasslands for locally nesting waterfowl such as mallards, gadwall and cinnamon teal. The Los Banos Wildlife Area is open to public hunting during season, so the project area includes areas available for dove, pheasant and waterfowl hunting.

DU biologist Chris Hildebrandt and Los Banos WA habitat manager Sean Allen.