In an effort to improve waterfowl habitat, the Idaho Fish and Game Department has adopted a new management plan at the Market Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near Roberts.
Habitat Manager Rob Cavallaro said a wetland review determined the marshes had become less productive over time and would benefit from periodic drawdowns.
“The drawdown of the marshes was done as part of a multi-year plan to improve habitat for waterfowl and increase the number of birds available for hunters,” says Habitat Manager Rob Cavallaro. “Shallow wetlands are typically more productive than deep lakes and attract more ducks.”
He said exposing the mud flats promotes the growth of annual plants that produce seeds that float once the water level returns to normal. And, the plants ultimately attract insects that benefit waterfowl. “We want Market Lake to be a waterfowl magnet,” says Cavallaro. “Several areas have already shown an awesome response to the drawdown and will look really attractive to ducks.”
Cavallaro said conditions look good for hunters, but access will look different. Marsh 1 and 2 will be held to similar levels to last year, but Marsh 3 and 4 will be drawn down.
WMA managers applied a selective herbicide treatment during the summer to reduce cattails in the marshes. That should improve hunter access to previously inaccessible areas and make marshes more attractive to waterfowl during the upcoming waterfowl seasons.