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Partners for Fish and Wildlife - Duff Lake Fen Restoration Project
Midwest Region, October 6, 2017
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Duff Lake Partnership Dedication Sign
Duff Lake Partnership Dedication Sign - Photo Credit: Scott Fetters, FWS
How about that- we found an Eastern massasauga on site!
How about that- we found an Eastern massasauga on site! - Photo Credit: Scott Fetters, FWS

The Duff Lake Fen Restoration Project is located on the LaGrange County Parks and Recreation Department property in northeast Indiana. The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program assisted the Parks Department along with numerous other partners in restoring approximately 76 acres of ditch drained fen wetland habitat and approximately 28 acres of adjacent oak savanna. The project is located in the Glacial Wetlands and Grasslands Priority Focus Area of the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in northeast Indiana.

Restoration work began on this project in 2015 with herbicide applications targeting invasive species including; phragmites, reed canary grass, and purple loosestrife. The site had been previously grazed and still had a relatively undisturbed native plant community and a native wetland seed bank waiting to be released. Following 2 years of herbicide applications, the sites hydrology was restored by in-filling more than 14,100 lineal feet of private ditches under a Nationwide 27 permit issued by the US Army Corps of Engineers and a Section 401 Water Quality Certification permit issued by the Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management. Less than 1 month following ditches being filled, the groundwater table began to rise and the site quickly began to change. The project will provide improved habitat for mallards, blue-winged teal, American woodcock, state endangered sandhill cranes, sedge wrens, marsh wrens, and the federally threatened Eastern massasauga (which has been found twice on site following restoration).

This project has also led to discussions about possible re-introduction of the federally endangered Mitchell's Satyr butterfly, as the last known site in Indiana is less than 1/3 mile away from Duff Lake Fen. Suitable habitat is already available in areas that were less disturbed and the goal is to improve the habitat across the property to increase chances for possible re-introduction.


Contact Info: Scott Fetters, 574-267-5090, scott_fetters@fws.gov
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