Macon Lakes Waterfowl Production Area

in Franklin County
520x222 Macon Lakes Vicinity Maps

Recent Management: Early settlement accounts describe the area containing a large lake within a treeless grassland. Settlers were disappointed to discover the water was only seasonal water and that the lake dried up on a frequent basis. The first parcel of the Macon Lakes WPA was purchased approximately 30 years ago. Most of the land management was directed toward leaving the land undisturbed. The result was volunteer trees spreading across the property, primarily in the low lands. 

In 2001, a contractor was hired to cut trees on 320 acres. The stumps of many of the trees cut were not properly treated; allowing them to resprout. 28 acres of cropland was seeded with high diversity seeding. An additional 74 acres of existing grassland was interseeded with a high diversity seed mix.

Wet conditions in the spring of 2008 showed that the wetland has the potential for high waterfowl use. Its geographic location places it in line with the migration path of whooping cranes. Plans began in 2008 by Ducks Unlimited to remove the numerous large trees scattered throughout the WPA. Ducks Unlimited had received a Nebraska Environmental Trust grant to help pay for the cost of removal. In the late spring of 2009, DU hired a contractor who dug up or pulled out all trees over 2 inches in diameter. The root balls were removed to prevent the tree from resprouting. The trees were piled and a winter burn is planned. Future plans include spraying the smaller diameter trees to kill them and surveying the wetland portion in order to design a way to keep water on the WPA portion of the wetland.


Facts About Macon Lakes Waterfowl Production Area

Location: 6 miles north of Franklin, Nebraska

Size: 1109 acres: 604 acres of wetland, 505 acres of upland

GPS: N 40.190, W -98.963

PDF Map: Macon Lakes WPA