Monday, May 14, 2012

2012 Flood

High water over the last week and a half is talking its toll on both wildlife and habitat.  Those familiar with habitat on the Winnebago Upper Pool Lakes know that thousands of acres of marsh have been lost because of the break up of floating "bogs".  When water rises the intertangled roots that from a sort of sod rip from the underling soil and float.  During high winds or ice break up in spring these mats break off and float down and usually disintegrate in Lake Winnebago.  When there was more marsh hundreds of acres could be lost in one event.  Friday a steady wind developed and began ripping the marsh apart one small piece at a time.  I witnessed a dozen of these small mats floating within the break wall at Terrell's Island and coming out of the Fox River at Lake Butte des Morts.

Cattail mat
Floating cattail "bog", exiting Terrell's Island marsh.  
High water also plays havoc with birds nesting close to the water's surface.  During a nest count May 8th with the DNR I observed perhaps a hundred flooded pelican nests and a dozen or so drown chicks, and the water was still rising.  

Bird Colony
American White Pelican nesting in cattail marsh, now flooded.
Flooded eggs
Pelican nest in the process of being flooded.  Parents were
still attempting to incubate partially flooded nests.  

No comments:

Post a Comment