Due to a marina construction project, coupled with the drier than normal conditions this year, duck hunting opportunities at Delaware Wildlife Area and Delaware State Park may be diminished this fall and winter, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

To facilitate boat ramp repairs at the Delaware marina, Delaware Reservoir will begin its annual winter drawdown on Sept. 10 instead of the normal Oct. 1 date. Additionally, the lake is being drawn down more than normal in order to relieve stresses placed on the drinking water system by these drier than normal conditions.

Due to low lake levels, Delaware Wildlife Area will be unable to pump water from Delaware Reservoir to fill their marshes for early duck season. These pumped marshes provide an ideal habitat for migrating waterfowl and shorebirds. Waterfowlers and bird watchers that utilize this area may see fewer birds and species this season.

All boat ramps are expected to remain inaccessible throughout the duck hunting season, including the ramp within the Delaware Wildlife Area. Duck blinds will only be accessible by foot or watercraft launched by hand. Those interested in the Delaware State Park Duck Blind Lottery occurring on Saturday, Aug. 18 should be aware of this unusual situation.

Image Courtesy of Ohio Department of Natural Resources

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