Waterfowl hunters planning a visit to Jamestown Wildlife Area this season will notice construction equipment and new infrastructure. And while select areas may be closed to hunting due to construction, opportunities still exist.
Huntable habitat can be found on the south end of the property throughout the waterfowl season. Staff will pump select off-channel storage pools from Marsh Creek and Buffalo Creek Marshes for the season. And a PDF map of these pools can be accessed by visiting ksoutdoors.com and clicking “Hunting,” “Reports and Forecasts,” then scrolling down to “Jamestown Wildlife Area.”
“These areas have excellent moist soil food production and teal are starting to show up,” said Matt Farmer, Public Lands manager for Jamestown. “We just ask that the public be mindful of the tighter spaces this season, and we appreciate their patience while we make improvements to the wildlife area.”
Gamekeeper Marsh and Gun Club Marsh will both be kept at a low level while construction on a division berm is underway in Gamekeeper Marsh. As of mid-August, construction is more than half way complete. Borrow areas where the contractors took earth to build the berm will become new, managed wetlands.
A Pittman-Robertson grant has also been submitted to raise Gamekeeper Dam 18 inches to accommodate the increased sediment load the marsh has taken on the last several decades. This work could start as early as late winter or early spring.
The berm construction and dam increase will provide area managers with the ability to flood a larger area and better control water elevations. With these new capabilities, staff can better manage the wetland for optimum “moist soil production” – a land practice that simulates a wetland’s natural wet and dry cycles, and encourages native, seed-producing plants to grow – ultimately resulting in increased hunting opportunities. While weather will largely determine when these projects may be completed, managers expect an entirely new look for Gamekeeper Marsh by the 2019 season.
For more information on the construction taking place at Jamestown Wildlife Area, contact area staff at (785) 439-6243.