Ducks get second pond at Creamer's Field

Posted: Thursday, October 12, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The first pond built in the middle of Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge made such a splash with ducks that the Alaska Department of Fish and Game built a second, bigger one.

Work on the 120-by-240 foot pond was completed last week. Refuge coordinator John Wright hopes to get the lagoon filled before winter.

The pond, which cost $8,000 to $10,000, is 40 percent bigger than the pond built last fall in the front-viewing field.

''That one was sort of overcrowded all fall,'' Wright said. ''There were commonly 1,000 ducks sitting on that pond in the first two weeks of September.''

The new pond is part of a cooperative agreement between Fish and Game, Fairbanks International Airport and Fort Wainwright to keep birds away from air traffic. The airport provided the equipment and workers to dig the pond.

Like its predecessor, the new pond is just a large depression where thousands of ducks, Canada geese and sandhill cranes can gather each spring and fall during migration.

The new pond will hold 150,000 to 200,000 gallons of water. It'll bee about five feet deep in the deepest spot.

A black plastic liner similar to super-thick Visqueen was put down to prevent the water from draining into the ground. Dirt was placed over the liner to hold it down and prevent moose from poking through with their hooves.

Fish and Game is also planning to build two new viewing platforms on the side of the field.

The first pond proved a bit too popular with ducks this fall.

''The ducks liked that pond so much we have to come up with a pump and spray system to distribute the fertilizer,'' Wright said.

As a result, Wright is trying to figure out a way to pump out the waste and replace it with clean water, using the waste on the refuge's barley and hay fields.

''It would be a good source of fertilizer,'' he said.

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