Waterfowl hunting

2012 waterfowl hunt opener conditions

Howard Slough Waterfowl Management Area

Marsh conditions: Good. In main impoundments water is at full pool/spilling levels and contain excellent pondweed growth. New extensive phragmites marshes have developed west and south of main impoundments and were chemically treated along the main impoundment dike. Some seasonal, small ponds on the Hooper Hot Springs Unit are full, and the phragmites throughout the whole unit were chemically treated. An older 280 acres of phragmites treatment area was grazed again to control regrowth on the east side of the main impoundment near the popular "Shotgun Alley" location.

Bird numbers: Exceptionally high bird numbers are in main impoundments — the grazed area. Some are way west of the marsh areas along lakefront. Generally, duck numbers have been holding well above average and goose numbers have increased substantially.

Access: The access road is a little bumpy but will be graded by the general opener. There will be some temporary, one- or two-day construction activities along the east impoundment dike that may temporally disturb some hunters.

Hunting forecast: The Slough had the best WMA Youth Hunt success in the region last year and should be great again this year. It should hunt well throughout the season. For its size, it holds up very well under extremely heavy hunting pressure and particularly on high-duck-number years, such as this one.

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