Conserving this Nation’s fish and other aquatic resources cannot be successful without the partnership of Tribes; they manage or influence some of the most important aquatic habitats both on and off reservations. In addition, the Federal government and the Service have distinct and unique obligations toward Tribes based on trust responsibility, treaty provisions, and statutory mandates.
The Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission Assist Partners With Radigan Flowage Wetland
|The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program collaborated with the Town of Dairyland, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission to repair the water-control structure in order to protect the fish and wildlife habitat.
The Radigan Flowage in southwestern Douglas County, Wisconsin is an expansive wild rice wetland teaming with waterfowl and native songbirds. The water-control structure which maintains the water levels that support over 300 acres of wild rice and other emergent wetland types was threatened with failure due to age of the structure. The cost for restoring the water-control structure to working order was beyond the capabilities of the Town of Dairyland, who owns the structure and most of the land around the flowage. In order to save this important site for fish and wildlife, they sought assistance from many agencies and organizations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program collaborated with the Town of Dairyland, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission to repair the water-control structure in order to protect the fish and wildlife habitat.
Over the course of two years the partners worked together to secure funding for the project, finalize engineering plans, and have the construction work completed. The main part of the repair involved the replacement of two large lift gates that maintain water levels. Creating dry conditions in which to work and pour concrete was no easy task. A temporary dam around the worksite was built and water redirected through the use of temporary culverts and pumps. In the end, the water-control structure was repaired and the wetland preserved.
Many different species of migratory waterfowl nest and raise broods on the Radigan flowage including trumpeter swans, Canada geese, wood ducks and mallards. Sandhill Cranes, red-winged blackbirds, sedge wrens, and a host of other migratory songbirds also nest and raise young at the site. Northern pike, bass, bluegills and many other fish call the flowage home. The flowage has a small boat launch and is utilized by hunters, fisherman, wild rice gatherers and other recreational users. Maintaining this site’s important wetland functions will benefit the areas fish, wildlife and public recreationists for years to come.