PGC and Delta Waterfowl improve waterfowl habitat in Bradford County

Times Leader | August 6th, 2017 9:13 am

Pennsylvania Game Commission employees and volunteer members of the North Branch Susquehanna Chapter of Delta Waterfowl recently planted more than 50 pounds of browntop millet along the banks of two waterfowl impoundments on State Game Lands 239 in Athens Township, Bradford County.

The cooperative effort will create additional food for several waterfowl species during their fall migrations. Browntop millet was chosen because it matures quickly, tolerates flooding, and produces a large quantities of hardy, nutritious seedheads.

The Game Commission manipulates impoundment water levels to provide optimal planting conditions and the timing of the SGL 239 project took place when its ponds were going through a drawdown. Drawdowns reduce the volume of water in impoundments and provide seed with the most favorable conditions for germination and growth.

“In some years, there is not a great response from the wetland-plant community, so we supplement the existing growth with additional plantings,” said Game Commission Land Management Group Supervisor Phil Kasper. “Supplemental plantings also benefit fish and amphibians by providing broader vegetative diversity once the water level is brought back to full pool.”

In addition to planting food for ducks and geese, Delta Waterfowl volunteers checked wood-duck boxes for nesting success and picked up litter around the ponds.

“The Game Commission would like to thank the members of Delta Waterfowl and their families for taking part in this valuable project,” Kasper said. “Wildlife always wins when volunteers step up to make a difference.”

From left, PGC Land Management Group Supervisor Phil Kasper; Don Holmes; Dillon Holmes; Robert Lebo; Tristan Farr; Britton Raub; Jordan Raub; Bobby Harding; Parker West; North Branch Susquehanna Chapter president Louis West; Zowie Farr; Lexxie Farr and Matt Pennell.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_Delta1.jpgFrom left, PGC Land Management Group Supervisor Phil Kasper; Don Holmes; Dillon Holmes; Robert Lebo; Tristan Farr; Britton Raub; Jordan Raub; Bobby Harding; Parker West; North Branch Susquehanna Chapter president Louis West; Zowie Farr; Lexxie Farr and Matt Pennell. Courtesy of the PGC
Delta Waterfowl North Branch Susquehanna Chapter President Louis West and PGC Land Management Group Supervisor Philip Kasper.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_Delta3.jpgDelta Waterfowl North Branch Susquehanna Chapter President Louis West and PGC Land Management Group Supervisor Philip Kasper. Courtesy of the PGC
Dillon Holmes spreads millet seed on SGL 239 during a recent project to improve waterfowl habitat.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_Delta2.jpgDillon Holmes spreads millet seed on SGL 239 during a recent project to improve waterfowl habitat. Courtesy of the PGC

Times Leader

Reach Tom Venesky at 570-991-6395 or on Twitter @TomVenesky


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