Wet Meadow Irrigation Improvement

Sharkey Field 2012
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More than 50 years of consistent irrigation of the Sharkey field at Modoc NWR had eroded ditches and created a very inefficient, and sometimes ineffective, irrigation regime. In 2012 this issue was confronted in cooperation with California Waterfowl Association and a local contracting crew. Sheet piling and rock dams were installed in more than 20 of the eroded ditches to hold up and disperse water at higher elevations. Also, many of the eroded ditches were filled with material to decrease the amount of water needed to irrigate the field. The project was a huge success, and this technique will continue to be used in the future to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of irrigation in other wet meadows.

Facts About Wet Meadow Irrigation Improvement

Wet Meadows:
Wet meadows are very important to wildlife, and provide excellent nesting habitat for Sandhill cranes, American bitterns, and rails. In the fall and spring, migrating white-fronted, Canada, and white geese forage on the fresh green shoots available in the meadows.