NEW ALBIN - Waterfowl hunters planning to travel to northeast Iowa this fall should be aware of a new refuge located in the far northeast corner of the state. The Pool Slough Wildlife Management Area, located in the northeast corner of Allamakee County, is situated on the floodplain of the Mississippi River, just east of New Albin.
New refuge regulations will be in effect for the fall duck and goose seasons. Hunters should take note that all state and federal land from the Army Road north to the Minnesota state line will be closed to waterfowl hunting. Also, on state land, a "No Shooting" zone extends 150 feet south of Army Road. This No Shooting Zone includes the road. Hunters and anglers may drive on Army Road to the boat landing and parking lot, but cannot trespass on the refuge portion of the Pool Slough area. This is an inviolate refuge, meaning that there is no trespassing in the area during the fall migratory waterfowl seasons. Dates will be posted along Army Road as you leave New Albin.
The Pool Slough Wildlife Management Area has always been a popular hunting and fishing area, but one of the problems has been low water levels during the fall. As areas dry up in the late summer and early fall, migrating ducks and geese are forced to look elsewhere for resting and feeding areas. The Pool Slough Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project in cooperation with the Army Corps of Engineers will begin later this fall. When it is finished, a more manageable source of water and improved waterfowl habitat will be realized. A dike system will be constructed north of Army Road that will provide improved habitat conditions.
The new refuge is being established to hold ducks and geese in the area. In the past, hunters would burn the ducks and geese off the area early in the day, and the birds would either return late in the evening or not at all. The refuge should provide an abundance of waterfowl food and a safe resting area. From Pool Slough, the next closest refuge along the Mississippi River is 20 miles south at Harpers Slough. The Iowa DNR has seen the need for a waterfowl refuge in the northern portion of Pool 9 for many years. Now that need will be met, and improved waterfowl habitat and waterfowl hunting opportunities will be realized.
For questions or more information, call Bob Kurtt, wildlife biologist at 563-382-4895 or Mike Griffin, wildlife biologist at 563-872-5700.
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