Purpose: To enhance Silver Lake WMA through the acquisition of a 2,840-acre tract to add to the WMA. While most of the habitat is in upland (longleaf pine and hardwoods), there are numerous isolated wetlands along with Silver Lake on the property. The total acquisition cost was $9.8 million and Ducks Unlimited provided $25,000 from the Wings Over Georgia Initiative towards the project.
Location: Approximately 10 miles southwest of Bainbridge in Decatur County, Georgia. Silver Lake WMA is located adjacent to Lake Seminole, a well-known waterfowl area in the southwestern potion of Georgia and Florida, and the Lake Seminole WMA.
Acres Impacted: 2,840
Habitat Type: Longleaf pine and hardwood uplands, isolated wetlands
Species Impacted: The WMA is located adjacent to Lake Seminole, a well-known waterfowl area in the southwestern potion of Georgia and Florida, and the Lake Seminole WMA. Silver Lake provides excellent fishing opportunity and in some years provides outstanding waterfowl hunting. Public lands for outdoor recreation are limited in southwest Georgia and acquisition of this tract significantly increased the amount and quality of public lands for outdoor recreation including hunting, fishing, birding, and other activities.
The upland buffers provide opportunities for nesting wood ducks while the wetlands host wood duck broods during spring and summer. During fall, wetlands, including the main body of Silver Lake, serve as roosting, feeding and loafing areas for a host of waterfowl including wood ducks, ring-necked ducks, green and blue-winged teal, mallards, redheads and Canada geese. Additionally, this property served as a popular local waterfowl hunting lease for decades under International Paper's ownership. Banding records from the Wildlife Resources Division list more than 200 wood ducks and ring-necked ducks, as well as more than 1,000 Canada geese being banded on or near Silver Lake.
Partners: Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Ducks Unlimited, Inc
Timeline: completed in June 2008