Helping waterfowlers in Oklahoma
Through years of siltation, many Corps of Engineers projects around the state have developed extensive areas of mud flats. Oklahoma’s natural weather patterns in the months of July and August expose these shallow flats, but few desirable plants for waterfowl and shorebirds are capable of producing seed in the remaining growing season and many of these areas become rife with cocklebur, sesbania and other undesirable vegetation. To counter this, the Wildlife Department hires an aerial applicator to spread Japanese millet (a domesticated version barnyard grass, which is highly desirable) on recently exposed mud. By doing this, the Department can provide thousands of acres of quality habitat at a very reasonable price, providing benefits both to the waterfowl resource and to the sportsmen and women of Oklahoma.
After millet has been spread, the Department coordinates with the Corps, power companies, and other stakeholders on the reservoirs to maximize the survival and production of millet. Primarily this involves manipulation of water levels to ensure that these flats are not flooded prematurely nor dry too quickly. Once the millet is mature, the reservoir level is slowly increased to provide an abundance of food to waterfowl migrating through or wintering in the state.
The millet seeding is being funded through matching funds from the federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. For more than 75 years, funding through this program has made lasting positive changes for the wildlife, fish and habitat of Oklahoma. Every hunter, angler or outdoors enthusiast who buys outdoors-related items contributes to this program by paying a special excise tax. This revenue is given back to the states based on factors that include the number of licensed hunters and anglers in the state. The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program has helped save millions of acres of habitat and boosted many wildlife populations. Each time an Oklahoman buys a license, he or she is supporting important conservation projects such as increased hunting access or improved boating access. Every sportsman and outdoors enthusiast benefits!
This program receives federal assistance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and thus prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, and sex (gender), pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. To request an accommodation or informational material in an alternative format, please contact Director, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, P.O. Box 53465, Oklahoma City, OK 73152. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or service, please contact U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, Attention: Civil Rights Coordinator for Public Access, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203.
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.