Massie Waterfowl Production Area

in Clay County
520x222 Massie - Harms - Moger - Meadowlark - Schuck - Green Acres - Eckhardt Vicinity Maps

Recent Management: The area was recognized for its huge concentrations of waterfowl during spring migration. And, it became the first property purchased (1963) with Duck Stamp dollars within the Rainwater Basin region.

Local residents tell of being able to water ski on the wetland during wet years and then putting up large amounts of forage during the drier years. The fluctuation from wet to dry continues today. The absence of grazing and haying in recent years has allowed bulrush to dominate the wetland. The dense stand of bulrush requires larger amounts of water to be added to the wetland before water is available for ducks and geese.

Management in recent years has included disking the bulrush during the summer and then burning the downed vegetation. The wetland area has also been hayed to create open areas for waterfowl. Haying, disking and burning have not been able to remove the bulrush but only provide short-term increases in preferred waterfowl food plants. During the years when the area has been burned or hayed, there is tremendous waterfowl use. Unfortunately, the wetland often remains too wet during the summer to allow frequent burning and haying. 

In 2002, a portion of the upland was planted to cropland to assist in the control of noxious weeds. The area had a poor stand of grass and required annual haying to control weeds. The area was reseeded in 2004 with a high diversity of native plants species. It is expected to take about three years before the native grasses will begin to dominate. 

A new boundary fence and solar powered livestock well was installed last year to allow for better grazing. Grazing has shown an improvement in plant diversity within the wetlands. It was necessary to construct a livestock well in order to provide enough water to water the number of cattle needed to begin to impact the bulrush. 

A privately owned pit, which lied adjacent to our southeast boundary, was filled in 2007. Trees along the fence line were also removed. The results were dramatic. It created open water in the small wetland which provided waterfowl habitat the past two years.  In 2010, the old irrigation well along the north boundary was replaced with a submersible well with a higher pumping capacity. 

Facts About Massie Waterfowl Production Area

Location: 3 miles south of Clay Center, Nebraska

Size: 853 acres: 494 acres of wetland, 359 acres of upland

GPS: N 40.478, W -98.033

PDF Map: Massie WPA