The objective of the Louisiana Waterfowl Project is to return waterfowl to the breeding grounds physically conditioned for maximum reproductive success. Managing off-season agricultural fields as waterfowl habitat offers good food resources for migrating and wintering birds with direct benefits to landowners.
Technical assistance and financial incentives are available to landowners interested in improving the status of waterfowl and the quality of wetlands on their property. Project sponsors include: Ducks Unlimited, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and Private Landowners.
To meet the ever-growing demand for assistance in managing private lands, the Louisiana Waterfowl Project was initiated in 1992. Since that time, Ducks Unlimited and its partners have restored and enhanced over 50,000 acres of waterfowl habitat.
Winter Flooding of Croplands (Red River Valley)
Harvested croplands provide waste grain and other natural foods for waterfowl. Crops such as rice, soybeans, corn, and milo become especially attractive to waterfowl when flooded with 1 to 15 inches of water. Rice fields provide ready-made impoundments, and other fields can often be inexpensively flooded after harvest.
Natural Foods on Fallow Areas
Croplands or fields not planted often provide a wide variety of natural moist soil plants and an abundance of associated invertebrates that are high quality waterfowl foods. When shallow water can be held on such fields throughout the fall and winter, these highly attractive foods become readily available for waterfowl.
Wetland Development Agreements
Landowners interested in restoration or enhancement of wetlands on their property may receive assistance in exchange for a commitment to maintain their wetland for a minimum of 10 years.
Guidelines under the Agreement:
• Projects may include management of croplands (along the Red River Valley), moist soil areas, forested wetlands, and other created or natural wetlands that provide habitat for waterfowl, migratory birds, and other wetland dependant wildlife.
• Project agreements will be for a period of not less than 10 years.
• On agricultural fields in the Red River Valley, projects must maintain appropriate water levels for a minimum of four months, between November and March.
• On moist-soil and natural wetlands, projects must maintain appropriate water levels for a minimum of five months, between October and March.
Parishes targeted for the Louisiana Waterfowl Project include: Avoyelles, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Catahoula, Concordia, East Carroll, Franklin, Grant, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Tensas, and West Carroll.
For more information contact:
4974 Central Ave., Suite A
Monroe, LA 71203-6106