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Four Otter Tail County wetland areas have recently been improved

Sediment and drain tile removal, construction of earthen embankments, and tree removal have been, or will soon be, completed on Knollwood, Mavis, Townsend and Wiegers Waterfowl Production Areas.

OTC Wetlands.jpg
Sediment and drain tile removal, construction of earthen embankments, and tree removal have been, or will soon be, completed on Knollwood, Mavis, Townsend and Wiegers Waterfowl Production Areas in Otter Tail County. (Perham Focus File Photo)

The Fergus Falls Wetland Management District, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with Minnesota Ducks Unlimited, Inc., restored or enhanced numerous wetlands on waterfowl production areas in Otter Tail County in October, for the benefit of people and wildlife.

Sediment and drain tile removal, construction of earthen embankments, and tree removal have been, or will soon be, completed on Knollwood, Mavis, Townsend and Wiegers Waterfowl Production Areas.

“These actions will make the habitat more attractive to breeding and migrating waterfowl as well as other wetland-dependent birds by improving the quality of wetlands on the landscape, allowing wetland areas to naturally function in support of breeding and migrating waterfowl and other birds,” explained Doug McClain, regional biologist for Ducks Unlimited, in a press release.

“We will restore small temporary ponds back to the landscape for waterfowl pair bonding,” he said. “In larger wetland areas, more open vegetation will provide increased areas for brood rearing and feeding. Fewer trees help restore grassland habitat for prairie-nesting birds.”

As a result, Ducks Unlimited and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expect to see improved habitat supporting a large number of migratory birds, which will benefit waterfowl hunters, birdwatchers and others viewing wildlife. Wetland restoration also enhances opportunities to retain water on the landscape, increasing floodwater storage along with improving water quality.

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The whole project should be completed by early November. Ducks Unlimited is funding the work through a Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund grant appropriated by the state legislature.

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