Low water at Grand River will challenge hunters

BERLIN, Wis. – The dam that controls water levels in the Grand River Wildlife Area has experienced storm-related gate failure. The result, for the near future, will be lower water levels in the flowage and this will affect duck hunters.

Severe thunderstorms on Aug. 28 dislodged large dense cattail mats and old submerged trees that could not pass under the dam. There are three gates. None are currently operational. Two are stuck in the closed position, one is stuck open.

The Department of Natural Resources plans to allow the open gate to continue drawing down the water in Grand River Marsh so that if heavy rains fall again, that gate will be able to safely release water. With more than half of the 60-day duck season remaining, lower water levels will affect duck hunter access to the marsh. Open water areas of the marsh will not be heavily affected. However, low water at access points will make watercraft launching difficult.

“Safety is our primary concern,” said DNR wildlife biologist Erin Grossman. “We appreciate the patience of hunters and are sympathetic to the challenges this unfortunate situation will cause. We are completing an assessment and hope to have repairs completed in the spring or summer of 2019.”

Grand River Marsh Wildlife Area is a 7,000-acre state property located in southwest Green Lake County and southeast Marquette County near Lake Puckaway.