More Waterfowl Habitat in Mississippi
Jackson – The Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (Foundation) was awarded a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant for almost $1 million. The grant entitled, “Mississippi Delta WMA Wetland Habitat Enhancements,” is the first NAWCA grant awarded to the Foundation. The project will protect, restore, and enhance 3,270 acres of waterfowl habitat on three Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ (MDWFP) Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in the Mississippi Delta. Habitat restoration and enhancement efforts will begin in summer 2009 at Howard Miller WMA in Issaquena County, O’Keefe WMA in Quitman County, and Charlie Capps WMA in Bolivar County.
The 2,430-acre Howard Miller WMA was acquired by the MDWFP in January 2006 and July 2007. Grant funds will renovate ditches, replace water control structures, and replace damaged pump motors on Howard Miller WMA so that it can continue to provide valuable habitat for both waterfowl and waterfowl hunters. Work activities on O’Keefe WMA will improve water management on a 20-acre agricultural field. Once restored, this field will be managed for a variety of natural and planted waterfowl foods and provide additional hunting opportunities.
Charlie Capps WMA was once a 451-acre state fishing lake, but became a WMA because frequent flooding made management of the sport fishery extremely difficult. As a result, approximately 400 acres of the former lake bed will be restored to shallow, intensively managed wetlands that provide quality waterfowl habitat and public waterfowl hunting opportunities. Another 50 acres of the lake bed will be re-planted to restore historical cypress and tupelo wetlands. MDWFP will also maintain a 40-acre fishing lake to retain fishing opportunity in the area. “The restoration of Charlie Capps WMA will give hunters a quality waterfowl hunting opportunity in an area of the Delta that has not had such opportunities provided on state-owned lands,” said Stephen Chandler, WMA supervisor for Charlie CappsWMA.