New California Waterfowl Projects
The California Fish and Game Commission has approved funding for 10 new waterfowl habitat and resource evaluation projects in the state over the next fiscal year with money from the State Duck Stamp and Ducks Unlimited's Matching Aid to Restore State Habitat (MARSH) program. Funding will also add a project in Canada and continue for seven previously approved projects in California.

The nine California projects span the length of the state and will receive $384,000 in Duck Stamp funds and $181,000 in MARSH funds. Ongoing projects in the state will receive $445,000 in continued funding while the Cameron Complex, Alberta project will receive $171,000.

The new California projects approved Thursday, May 10, include:
• Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area will supply an alternate water supply to 330 acres of both summer and winter wetlands by installing one gear drive pump to an existing well. The project will receive $10,000 in Duck Stamp funding.
• San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge will create 80 acres of wetlands adjacent to a newly developed visitor's center. The project will receive $30,000 in Duck Stamp funding and $10,000 in MARSH funding.
• Kern National Wildlife Refuge will create 300 acres of wetland habitat to increase wetland diversity and hunting opportunity. It will receive $20,000 from Duck Stamp funds and $16,000 in MARSH funds.
• Napa-Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area will upgrade existing levees to maintain the integrity of the current wetlands and water delivery system. It will receive $24,000 in Duck Stamp and $10,000 in MARSH funding.
• Tulare Basin Wetland Water Delivery Project will be used to help construct a two-mile delivery ditch for the North Pintail Slough water delivery project, which ultimately will service approximately 2,000 acres. It will receive $50,000 in Duck Stamp funding.
• Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area will support the engineering and design of a delivery ditch to service 300 wetland acres. The funds — $25,000 Duck Stamp, $25,000 MARSH — are not sufficient to complete the necessary construction. However, funds remaining after engineering will be used as match to attract other monies for actual construction.
• A separate Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area project will construct a head wall around two submersible pumps that provide water to 1,150 acres. It will receive $75,000 Duck Stamp funding and $75,000 MARSH funding.
• Humboldt State University Waterfowl Endowment, proposed by the California Waterfowl Association, recommends that $100,000 per year for up to three years be matched from other contributors to create an endowment of $1 million. Revenue from this endowment — $100,000 Duck Stamp, $10,000 MARSH — would be used to support an associate professor of waterfowl and wetland ecology and waterfowl research.
• Mallard Breeding Ecology is a proposal from Ducks Unlimited that would fund the first year of a three-year study to identify pre-nesting habitat use, the proportion of hens that actually nest and their success, and other nesting parameters of mallards in California. The study, funded with $50,000 Duck Stamp funds and $35,000 MARSH funds, will also collect data important to the development of population models to be used in the Adaptive Harvest Management of western mallards.

Ongoing California projects include:
• California Duck Banding — California Waterfowl Association: $25,000
• California Duck Surveys — California Waterfowl Association: $30,000
• California Waterfowl Habitat Program — year six of 10: $100,000
• Kern Waterfowl Habitat Program — year two of 10: $20,000
• Cooperative Mallard Habitat Program — year five of five: $66,000
• Department of Fish and Game — internal funding: $184,000
• Department of Fish and Game — contingency fund: $20,000

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