St. Clair Flats - Harsens Island Game Area Report


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St. Clair Flats - Harsens Island
Useful Information: Lake St Clair Marine Weather, NOAA Marine Weather, Harsens Island Visitors Guide, Auto Ferry, Harsens Island News, Harsens Island Waterfowl Association
Maps: General Area, Harsens Island Headquarters Location,
Harsens Island Area Reporter:
Report
Pictures - Click Images for larger view
Dec 21st 2016 - Managers Update -
Current Bird Numbers: The DNR area bird count as of last week was 42 ducks and 0 geese.
2016 Hunter Bird Take Stands at: 7,548 Ducks and 101 Geese

Area Condition Update:
 
Dec 5th 2016 - Managers Update -
Current Bird Numbers: The DNR area bird count as of last week was 25162 ducks and 0 geese.
2016 Hunter Bird Take Stands at: 7,548 Ducks and 101 Geese

Area Condition Update: We definitely went out with a whimper. Hunting was incredibly slow, even during afternoon hunts. Refuge numbers remained surprisingly high; I fully expected to see far less ducks today when I went out there, but they’re just fat and happy, as usual. I saw the prettiest widgeon I’ve ever seen and a pintail with a 5 inch sprig. What are you gonna do…
 
Nov 30th 2016 - Managers Update -
Current Bird Numbers: The DNR area bird count as of last week was 24891 ducks and 0 geese.
2016 Hunter Bird Take Stands at: 6928 Ducks and 88 Geese

Area Condition Update: Looks like we’ll be open for the remainder of the season. Still lots of greenwings around, but our pintails blew right through.
 
Nov 24th 2016 - Managers Update -
Current Bird Numbers: The DNR area bird count as of last week was 23511 ducks and 0 geese.
2016 Hunter Bird Take Stands at: 5897 Ducks and 88 Geese

Area Condition Update: We froze pretty good the last two days, most areas that are frozen are about ½ to an inch of ice. However, the ducks are hanging on. Even a bunch of teal still sticking in the refuge. We gained a ton of pintail late last week and shot some studs.
 
Nov 15th 2016 - Managers Update -
Current Bird Numbers: The DNR area bird count as of last week was 21846 ducks and 0 geese.
2016 Hunter Bird Take Stands at: 4622 Ducks and 83 Geese

Area Condition Update: Things finally started turning around down here. Since Wednesday night, we’ve been going strong. We’ve averaged well over 200 birds per day since. Hopefully it keeps up. We’ve gained a lot of mallards and Black ducks as well as a few other species. Starting to actually look like November down here.
 
Nov 11th 2016 - Managers Update -
Current Bird Numbers: The DNR area bird count as of last week was 16648 ducks and 0 geese.
2016 Hunter Bird Take Stands at: 3282 Ducks and 83 Geese

Area Condition Update: We are still seeing very few mallards being harvested and many less mallards than normal in the refuge counts. All signs are saying we haven’t had a big migration yet, so hopefully the best is yet to come.
 
Nov 1st 2016 - Managers Update -
Current Bird Numbers: The DNR area bird count as of last week was 15692 ducks and 0 geese.
2016 Hunter Bird Take Stands at: 2722 Ducks and 77 Geese

Area Condition Update: We are just about to full pool in all zones, though the west side will creep up a little more early in the week.
 
Oct 29th 2016 - Managers Update -
Current Bird Numbers: The DNR area bird count as of last week was 11448 ducks and 120 geese.
2016 Hunter Bird Take Stands at: 1873 Ducks and 58 Geese

Area Condition Update: Water levels in a few of the zones will come up this week. 5-12 will be brought up a few inches as we approach year end water levels.
 
Oct 17th 2016 Managers Update –
Current Bird Numbers: The DNR area bird count as of last week was 6428 ducks and 100 geese.

2016 Hunter Bird Take Stands at: 606 Ducks and 20 Geese

Area Condition Update: Water levels in most zones will remain steady for the next week to 10 days, until available food starts to be used up and more birds arrive. All zones have good water, outside of zones 5, 6, 21, and 22 which are the highest zones on the area and last to flood. The weather is still forecasted as very mild, in the upper 70’s Monday and Tuesday then staying in the high 50’s later in the week.

 
Oct 11th 2016 - Managers Update -
Current Bird Numbers: The DNR area bird count as of last week was 7089 ducks and 100 geese.

2016 Hunter Bird Take Stands at: 257 Ducks and 5 Geese

Area Condition Update: Water levels will continue to rise in several zones, including the 20’s and 1-12.
 
Oct 4th 2016 - Managers Update -
Current Bird Numbers: The DNR area bird count as of last week was 7320 ducks.

Crop conditions on Harsens Island will be average this year. We started out looking fantastic, but over a month with no rain severely stunted the corn crop. Small grains look good in most areas.
• 1-12: Good corn, good small grains. Corn is generally around 7 feet tall. Zone 12 dramatically better than previous years.
• 13-17: Good corn and small grains in 14 and 15, corn mostly over 7 feet. Corn in 16 and 17 is thinner and sparse in places and could end up being poor cover later in the year. Zone 13 was destroyed by deer and geese, with extremely short corn at about 3 foot. A blind was built in the zone and it will be a 1-4 man instead of 2-4 owing to the poor cover.
• 18 also hit hard by deer, very poor cover, below average small grains.
• Zone 20 (ADA zone) has much better corn and millet than recent years and should be a good hunt.
• 21-23: Very good corn, good small grains.
• 24-27: Much better than recent years due to East Marsh being dry and no goose pressure on the fields. Apart from a few sparse pockets the corn is looking very good, though it has some thin stalks in places.
• 28-30: 28 again will have tougher cover later in the year, but should be good early. It was again pressured hard by geese and deer. 29 looks very good as usual and 30 is exceptional.

Water levels are rising. We will be at huntable water in all zones by the middle of the week, giving the birds time to find fields and get feeding. Expect duck numbers to continue to creep up and if the temperature drop they’re calling for comes through we could see a good opening weekend.
 
Sept 20th 2016 - Managers Update -
Current Bird Numbers: The DNR area bird count as of last week was 1750 ducks.

Local duck numbers are looking much better than recent years. More waterfowl have been observed on the area and the surrounding Flats through the summer and duck abundance was much higher during banding efforts in August compared to previous years

Crops conditions will be average this year. We started out looking fantastic, but over a month with no rain severely stunted the corn crop. Small grains look good though. Some zones such as 25-27 and especially zones 12 and 30 will be better than recent years, while zones 13 and 18 have very poor cover conditions. Conditions in the West Marsh are unchanged for the most part and very similar to 2015. Progress continues in the East Marsh drawdown project. This was the 2nd year the area was completely drawn down through the summer. After a good burn of standing dead vegetation in March, the drought conditions helped us to get the marsh good and dry through the summer. This helped break down a lot of muck and firm up the bottom in most areas. After the rains in August, the native seed bank in the area exploded, with a great bloom of smartweeds, sedges, and spike rush. Conditions look promising for the 2016 season, with lots of food available and improved hunting conditions in the unit.
 
Nov 17th 2015 - Area Conditions: The corn is getting pretty rough from the big boats driving in the corn and the high winds. All Areas are at full pool.

Current Bird Numbers: The DNR area bird count as of last week was 10,000 ducks and 200 geese.
2015 Hunter Bird Take Stands at: 5811 Ducks and 79 Geese
 

Oct 23rd 2015 - Area Conditions: Overall the conditions are very good. Water is now in all fields, Duck numbwers remain steady.

Current Bird Numbers: The DNR area bird count as of last week was 5,700 ducks and 200 geese.
2015 Hunter Bird Take Stands at: 2100 Ducks and 49 Geese

Area 1 thru 4 - Corn varies in height some excellent cover. Water at full pool.

Area 5 thru 8 - Corn varies in height some excellent cover. Water low - pumps running.

Area 9 thru 12 - Corn varies in height some excellent cover. Water entering field.

Area 13 thru 18 - Corn varies in height some excellent cover. Water at full pool.

Area 21 thru 23 - Corn varies in height some excellent cover. Water low - pumps running.

Area 24 thru 27 - Very little cover. Water at full pool.

Area 29 thru 30 - Corn varies in height some excellent cover.Water low - pumps running.

East Marsh - Mostly Dry

West Marsh - Normal Water Levels

 

Oct 6th 2015 - Area Conditions: For the upcoming waterfowl opener, overall the conditions are very good. Water is starting into all the hunting areas, there is cover in most hunting areas is good to excellent. There are plenty of ducks and many of the drakes are at full color.

Current Bird Numbers: The DNR area bird count as of last week was 5,000 ducks and 200 geese.

Area 1 thru 4 - Corn varies in height some excellent cover. Water should be entering field for the opener.

Area 5 thru 8 - Corn varies in height some excellent cover. Water entering field.

Area 9 thru 12 - Corn varies in height some excellent cover. Water entering field.

Area 13 thru 17 - Corn varies in height some excellent cover. Water entering field.

Area 21 thru 23 - Corn varies in height some excellent cover. Water entering field.

Area 24 thru 27 - Very little cover. Water entering field.

Area 29 thru 30 - Corn varies in height some excellent cover.Water entering field.

East Marsh - Mostly Dry

West Marsh - Normal Water Levels


St Clair Flats Hunting Report 2015, East Marsh Dry for the season.

St Clair Flats Hunting Report 2015, Crop Conditions, water entering into Area 10

St Clair Flats Hunting Report 2015, Crop Conditions, Area 2 corn in great shape

7-1-2015 - New to Muck Boy this year, we have started to report the area conditons. Bird take and refuge count through out the season just as we do for five other State Game Areas in Michigan.

This morning field reporter Paul Smith and your webmaster took a road trip down to Harsens Island to check the area conditions. During our visit we meet a couple of the DNR employees, who fill us in on how the area works, geneal area information and how to find our way around, being our first timers to the area it sure helped. Thanks Guys really enjoyed the converstion.

Crops around the area look good, the corn is about 12 to 18 inches high in the refuge, Zones 1 thru 4 and Zones 24 thru 28. Water in the zones should never be as issue, unless there is to much or the pumps are not working, because the area is surronded by the St Clair River and Lake St Clair.

 



   
   
 





 






 
 

   
 

 

 
   

 

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