In support of Governor Cuomo’s NY is Open for Fishing and Hunting initiative, wetland construction activities began last week to restore and enhance more than 200 acres of coastal fisheries habitat at Buck Pond, part of the Braddock Bay Fish and Wildlife Management Area marsh complex in Monroe County, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced.
More than 6,500 feet of water channels will be restored in the dense cattail areas in Buck Pond and 10 potholes will be restored to enhance fish spawning areas and waterfowl habitat.
“In addition to enhancing fish and wildlife habitat, this project creates a more accessible environment for the public to enjoy as well. This project would not have been possible without the support of our partners,” DEC Regional Director Paul D’Amato said. “The governor’s Open for Fishing and Hunting initiative is committed to furthering projects just like this one to improve opportunities in the state.”
Ducks Unlimited provided funding for this project through a grant it received from Great Lakes Restoration Initiative through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Freshwater Future and Healing Our Waters grant program. Other partners include The Nature Conservancy, Braddock Bay Fish and Wildlife Management Area Committee, State University of New York at Brockport and the Town of Greece.
Much of the coastal marshes along eastern Lake Ontario are dominated by invasive narrow leaf and hybrid cattail. These dense cattail mats have limited value for wetland-dependent wildlife and provide poor habitat for fish, such as northern pike. This wetland project will restore native plant communities. It is also expected to improve water quality, decrease turbidity and sedimentation, and improve water flow and fluctuation.
The channels and potholes will be excavated using specialized equipment. Channels will be excavated up to three feet deep and six to eight feet wide, and provide access to the preferred spawning location for northern pike. Potholes will range in size from 1/6 acre to 1/2 acre, totaling 6.4 acres.
The equipment will cut through the cattail debris and the excavated material will be piled as habitat mounds that will support native plants, such as sedges and rushes, which provide great sources of food for waterfowl.
Press Release, February 27, 2014