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Wetland Symposium

The Saskatoon Southeast System: A Prairie Oasis


KIM H. ESKOWICH

Ducks Unlimited Canada, Box 2139, Melfort, SK, S0E 1A0 Canada

The Saskatoon Southeast System is a complex of Ducks Unlimited Canada wetland projects which have recently been complemented by North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) upland programs. Within the NAWMP landscape boundaries are seven marshes supplied by irrigation conveyance ditches, each regulated by a separate control structure. This allows all marshes to be supplied with water to compensate for years of low spring runoff as well as evaporation throughout the summer months, thus creating secure brood rearing habitat. The entire landscape encompasses 108 square miles and 2,700 wetlands totalling 6,692 acres (2,708 ha).

Since the implementation of the NAWMP, Ducks Unlimited Canada has secured eight upland projects around existing wetland projects to compensate for a lack of existing nesting cover. To date 226 acres (91.5 ha) of marginal land has been purchased and seeded to native dense nesting cover (DNC), 515 acres (208.4 ha) of existing hayland has been leased and idled, 150 acres (60.7 ha) of marginal land has been leased and seeded to DNC, 130 acres (52.6 ha) of existing hayland is being managed under a delayed cutting date, and 40 acres (16.2 ha) of cultivated land has been converted to hay and is being managed under a delayed hay agreement.


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