Resource Management

Resource management


Water Management

Because St. Catherine Creek NWR was established for wintering waterfowl, and because it is within the floodplain of the Mississippi River, water management is the most important management tool for the refuge’s resources.  Water levels are actively managed on nearly 1,500 acres of refuge impoundments or shallow water pools. Levels are managed to provide a variety of wetland conditions to produce plants for ducks, mudflat for shorebirds, and shallow water for wading birds. By raising and lowering water levels throughout the year, refuge staff has the ability to simulate natural and dynamic wetland cycles.  

Cooperative Farming

St. Catherine Creek NWR has an active cooperative farming program for the primary purpose of providing food and other needed habitats for waterfowl and other wildlife.  Through a cooperative farm agreement, the farmer utilizes a portion of the refuge to plant crops and leaves or plants unharvested grain crops such as corn, milo, or rice for refuge wildlife as rent.  Utilizing the farmer to manage early succession habitat and provide high energy foods for ducks and geese, this program allows the refuge to fulfill its purpose efficiently and successfully. 

Deer Harvest Management

Deer hunting is a significant public use on St Catherine Creek NWR but is also used to manage the deer herd and as a result provide healthy habitat.  Deer populations should be reduced to under carrying capacity or at a density that the habitat can support.  Removing a portion of the herd annually with the appropriate age structure and sex ratios should result in a healthy herd.  

Trapping Occurs on this Refuge

Trapping is a wildlife management tool used on some national wildlife refuges. Trapping may be used to protect endangered and threatened species or migratory birds or to control certain wildlife populations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also views trapping as a legitimate recreational and economic activity when there are harvestable surpluses of fur-bearing mammals. On this refuge trapping occurs only as a wildlife management tool and is prohibited by the public. Outside of Alaska, refuges that permit trapping as a recreational use may require trappers to obtain a refuge special use permit. Signs are posted on refuges where trapping occurs. Contact the refuge manager for specific regulations. Click here for more information.