'We are a group of avid waterfowlers devoted to the sport of waterfowling at Carlyle Lake and believe in the creation and preservation of wildlife habitat and choose to take a proactive approach on waterfowl management, maximizing hunter opportunity, enriching the resource, and carrying on the tradition!"
Join today and become apart of our tenacious group and help influence hunting conditions and management for Carlyle Lake! "YOUR VOICE MATTERS!"
Carlyle Lake Waterfowlers Association, Inc.
We are a group of avid waterfowlers and Outdoorsmen who for over 20 years have put forth an effort to help preserve the habitat for wintering waterfowl and all wildlife. We assist with setting policy in the best interest of the public hunter in the Carlyle Lake area while also representing the newly formed South Central Zone. Join us today and help Carlyle Lake become your home to a place that you'll once remember! "We Live the Outdoors!"
IF YOU HUNT PUBLIC AREAS, AND THESE ISSUES ARE OF INTEREST TO YOU, JOIN THE CARLYLE LAKE WATERFOWLERS TODAY AND HELP MAKE CARLYLE LAKE A BETTER PLACE TO HUNT!
Our general membership meetings are held in the fall and in the spring. See Events Calendar for other dates, time, and agendas. Dues are only $15.00 per year! (NOTE) CLWA is not a guide service. For all directions, regulations, waterfowl counts and questions concerning rules for the public areas, please contact the IDNR or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for their respective areas that they manage. Thank you.
News and Announcements
March 1, 2014
Every year you hope that all the pieces of the puzzle that we call waterfowl hunting fall into place and we have a good season. Two of the main pieces of that puzzle are habitat, both food and cover, and weather. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much luck with those ingredients this year and as a result, we had the sixth lowest duck harvest in 41 years of record keeping at the site.
It all started with heavy rains in the late spring and summer of 2013. Carlyle Lake once again reached a very high level and remained that way for an extended period of time, completely engulfing the sub-impoundments. We did not start to see exposed ground in these areas until the first of August. As a result, no corn or milo was planted and only a small amount of Japanese millet was sowed on mud flats, much to the thanks of the Carlyle Lake Waterfowlers Assoc. In addition, moist soil plant production was also delayed because of high water and as a result native food was very limited. With such a shortage of available food, the only thing that could be hoped for would be a very mild winter. And as we all know, that has not been the case. It has been one of the most severe winters of all times. The early “ice up” in December, not only made it difficult to hunt, but without an adequate food supply, the ducks moved on to a more favorable climate. Almost 95% of the ducks harvested this season were taken in the first 30 days. Only 267 ducks were shot in the last 30 days of the season.
By Joe Smothers
The 2013 spring planting season started out damp and continued that way through much of the season. The only crops planted this year were located on higher upland fields and were planted over a month to six weeks behind schedule. Heavy rain storms in April, May and June caused Carlyle Lake to rise to levels above 450.0 NVGD and the high levels remained until late July; thus making it impossible to plant grain crops in the lower wetland areas. These low wetland areas finally begin showing exposed mudflats in mid-August. Some fields were hand seeded to Japanese millet, but because of the conflict with the upcoming September 1st early Canada goose season not all areas could be seeded. Specific hunting areas along with the management activities are highlighted below.
Japanese millet was hand seeded on some exposed mudflats at Boulder Flats in the North Fork-East Wetland Unit. Some natural moist soil vegetation is available at the Whitetail Wetland Unit and Wood Duck Wetland Unit. If favorable weather and lake conditions exist in late October, winter wheat strips will be planted in the upper field in the Whitetail Wetland Unit.
The James Hawn Wetland Unit was hand seeded to Japanese millet on exposed mud flats in mid-August. Little natural moist soil vegetation exists throughout the area. In late October small winter wheat strips will be planted in the upper field.
August 26, 2013 - Bob Hammel, Site Supt.
Listening to the long range weather forecast that the meteorologists were giving this past winter, I was feeling pretty good about what to expect this summer. Most were predicting that last summer’s drought would be followed by a similar drought this summer. And after having a good planting season last year with good results during the duck season, I was ready to go. Things couldn’t have turned out any more different or worst. It has been one of the wettest years I’ve ever experienced and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Carlyle Lake stay up at the levels, or duration, we’ve seen this summer.
The lake had never reached winter pool of 443 this past winter because of concerns with low Mississippi River levels and the affect it would have on barge traffic. The idea being to use water from Carlyle and Shelbyville Lakes to assist with water levels on the big river. But, when the rains started in mid-April, any problems on the Mississippi quickly went away. On April 18-19 heavy rains hit the area with 3”-3.5” falling in most localities. An all time record crest of 21.44’ was set on Hurricane Creek at Mulberry Grove. And the crest at Vandalia of 27.87’ was just shy of a record. Water from Hurricane came pouring through the spillways in “C” Levee on April 19 and the Kaskaskia followed shortly after, flowing through “A” Levee on April 20 and the Subs quickly filled. Of course Subs 3 and 4 also were inundated in no time. Heavy rain continued on April 23 and 27 and the Corps of Eng. went to a maximum 10,000 cfs release. The lake crested on April 27 at 452.67’. It turned out that this April was the fourth wettest on record in Illinois.
High Water continues through the entire month of July as the downstream farmers continue to win the battle of the lake release rates. This will mark the fourth time in six years that the IDNR sub-impoundments will go un-touched and not see a stitch of food for hunting season. High lake levels are keeping the IDNR staff from drawing down the sub areas that have had water on them since last October. Even now, Jap millet planting will be very unlikely as you only have until August 15th to seed millet due to restrictions with early teal season. Last year IDNR staff planted nearly 700 acres of various foods for wintering ducks and there were around 9,500 hunter trips to the IDNR areas. On years were we don't get food planted that number declines to 3,000/4,000,and that being said it usually means harvest numbers are way down as well. Its time we be heard and we encourage everyone who hunts Carlyle to join this organization. We can not win the battle with 185 members! Keep an eye on the fall meeting date and hope to see you there.
Well once again mother nature has blessed the Carlyle areas with heavy rain this spring and the early part of summer. Lake levels have remained around the .450 rule curve elevation mark for most of May and June. It hasn't been easy trying to de-water sub impoundment areas for the IDNR staff. Currently, a slow release at the main damn has allowed for lake levels to remain high and recent heavy rains has only made things worse in any effort to get any water out of the subs. These conditions have occurred four out of the last six years. Hunters can expect very few ag fields to be planted if any at all this year. All we can do is hope for mother nature to bring us plenty of flight days in hopes of having the harvest numbers we had in 2012. Our club has also been talking with local legislatures on the removal of Cox's Bridge. Hopefully we will have an announcement for the fall meeting.
CLWA will be sponsoring three youths to attend this years IFOR youth camp on August 9-11th. The three day camp is held over at the Coles Creek area at the Lotus camping ground. The kids will experiment many activities and good meals in those three days. Some of the activities include, fishing, swimming, horseback riding, animal exhibits, wildlife demonstrations and retriever training and handling. For more information you can click on the IFOR link on our home page.
Dearest friends and supporters,
CLWA held its 2013 fund-raiser on June 15th at Governors Run golf course in Carlyle. Thirty-four teams attended on a beautiful sunny yet mild day. Tee-off started around 8:15 and concluded with a meal and many prizes around 2:30. We had twenty-eight sponsors this year with several being first timer donors. Volunteers did a wonderful job with the food and registration and we cannot thank them enough for their extra efforts to make it a great success. It takes many people to put a successful fund-raiser together and this year we had more volunteers than we had in a combined few years past. Whether it was selling raffle tickets or preparing food, all did a great job and CLWA can't thank them enough! Great job!!!
US Army Corps of Engineers Reminder