North Perth council approves use of stormwater management ponds for duck conservation

·2 min read

NORTH PERTH – Council approved a request on Feb. 22 to all the local Headwaters Delta Waterfowl Chapter to continue using municipal stormwater management ponds for duck nesting projects.

“Four years ago, we approached council to get permission to install nesting structures on behalf of Delta Waterfowl,” said Parry Blanke, chair of the local Headwaters Delta Waterfowl Chapter. “These structures were installed behind Westfield Public School at the Steve Kerr Memorial Complex as well as the pond on Tremaine by the St. Mary’s Catholic School.”

He said that the nests have proven to be very successful over the past couple of years.

“Of the eight we checked out this past season, I believe six were used and successful, the other two were unused, putting about 12 to 14 ducklings into the population,” said Blancke. “We’re looking for permission to continue maintaining these duck nests, both the box and the nesting tubes, as well as installing a few more. Ponds listed are near Hutton Street, the pond on Connor Drive and the pond on Line 84, north side of the highway.”

Delta Waterfowl hen houses are the most cost-effective tool to increase mallard production. Targeted to areas of the highest mallard breeding density, hen houses consistently boost nest success to more than 60 per cent and commonly to 80 per cent — in areas where ground-nesting mallards typically achieve nest success of less than 10 per cent.

Delta maintains hen houses across the key breeding areas of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, North Dakota, Minnesota and Ontario. By 2022, Delta will have nearly 10,000 hen houses available for hens, with over 45,000 ducklings hatching in them annually.

“We perform the maintenance during the winter months while it’s frozen for ease of access,” said Blanke. “While we install the nesting structures usually after the thaw when water levels are safe to do so.”

Coun. Terry Seiler told Blancke Listowel residents have been commenting on the benefits of hen houses to the municipality.

“I wish you the best of success with the work you are doing,” he said.

Council voted in favour of allowing the Delta Waterfowl project to continue and to expand.

“We wish you much success with your continuing conservation efforts,” said Mayor Todd Kasenberg.

Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner