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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

Uihlein Marsh Restoration and Enhancement Project 

Region 3, November 18, 2013
Water control strcture installation on Uihlein Marsh Project.
Water control strcture installation on Uihlein Marsh Project. - Photo Credit: n/a
Water control structure at Uihlein Marsh Project.
Water control structure at Uihlein Marsh Project. - Photo Credit: n/a
Moist soil managment at Uihlein Marsh Project.
Moist soil managment at Uihlein Marsh Project. - Photo Credit: n/a
Eastern prairie white-fringed orchid at Uihlein Marsh.
Eastern prairie white-fringed orchid at Uihlein Marsh. - Photo Credit: n/a

Leopold Wetland Management District and the Great Lakes Coastal Program, both part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, worked in partnership with Ducks Unlimited to restore and enhance 321 acres of the Uihlein Waterfowl Production Area. Managed by the National Wildlife Refuge System, the Uihlein Waterfowl Production Area consists of 13 tracts comprising more than 2,000 acres of habitat and is located within one of the premier migratory bird areas of the Lake Michigan watershed. It is part of the Winnebago System Focus Area of the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Region Joint Venture and the Rush Lake Complex Initiative, identified in the Wisconsin Plan. The Winnebago System Focus Area was designated as a high priority in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Region Joint Venture Implementation Plan and the entire project area has been classified as Priority I habitat in the Wisconsin Plan.

Uihlein Waterfowl Production Area offers exceptional waterfowl breeding, nesting, and migration habitat that is open to the public for a variety of outdoor recreation. Service staff have conducted annual waterfowl surveys here and have documented use by a host of waterfowl species including mallards, blue-winged teal, green-winged teal, American wigeon, redhead, scaup, northern shoveler, northern pintail, wood duck, Canada geese, and American black ducks. The Area is also home to a large population of the federally threatened and state endangered eastern prairie white-fringed orchid. Service management of the area has resulted in a steady annual increase in the number of plants. Additional wildlife benefiting from the project include Forester’s, common, and black terns, great egrets, black-crowned night herons, American bittern, least bittern, yellow headed blackbird, bald eagles and osprey, several species of shorebirds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals (including river otter), and grassland songbirds.

On the ground, work started in 2010 with survey and design work. Over the next few years planning, coordination and construction took place to restore the 321 acres of habitat within the Uihlein Waterfowl Production Area. Construction activities included levee coring and grading, water control structure installation, and hunter/public access improvements. All the partners are proud to be part of this successful partnership that has conserved wetlands and wildlife in the Great Lakes watershed.

 

Contact Info: Ted Koehler, 715-682-6185, ted_koehler@fws.gov