With the flip of a pump switch this August, Ducks Unlimited gave the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources the tools to create quality waterfowl habit on the sprawling 3,765-acre Pelican Lake in east central Minnesota.

Ducks Unlimited this summer installed massive pumps, pipes and other hardware at the shallow lake in Wright County, designated as a wildlife management lake in Minnesota.

"This lake has a long history of heavy migration use by diving ducks, such as canvasbacks, redheads and scaup," said Jon Schneider, Ducks Unlimited manager of conservation programs for DU's Living Lakes Initiative.

"Those ducks have to get all their food from wetlands," he explained. "Other species of ducks can feed on land in fields, but not diver ducks."

The large shallow lake is frequented by hunters from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The enhancement allows the Minnesota DNR to mimic natural high- and low-water cycles. This will keep Pelican Lake free of undesirable fish while promoting a clear water, productive state with abundant aquatic plants and invertebrates.

The project is funded through a $2 million state appropriation from the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund as recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council. The appropriation was awarded to the DNR, which sub-awarded the grant to DU. Ducks Unlimited also received a $75,000 NAWCA grant toward the project.