Cattail Slough Burned?

Munster927

Active member
I'm curious what some people think of this weird deal I found at a Game Production Area when I was in South Dakota a couple weeks ago.

I hunted a GPA that I had been to a few years back and it looks like they burned off all of the cattails. Anyone know why that would be the case? You could see the ground around the water (which was now ice) was all blackened and there was not ONE cattail around the entire slough. A few years before I walked right through that slough (late season) and I was beating through cattails. Now it looks like they burned it off and possibly flooded it. Theres parts of the field that had ice on it that I swear were grass before.

Any ideas?
 

Miforester

Active member
Not knowing the area could there have been the invasive phragmites? I know that they will burn invasive phrag during the winter as it is the only time it is safe for personel and the fires will carry unlike during the growing season. The cattails will come back hopefully without the phrag. This only is only an educated guess though.
 

Munster927

Active member
I'm not entirely sure but it seems like a possibility to me. SD isn't my home state so I have no way of knowing for sure but it seems like a likely possibility. I had just never seen something like that before. But an invasive species never crossed my mind either.
 

McFarmer

Active member
Don’t suppose any private operation would have dropped a match on public ground ?

Is that too cynical ?
 

Miforester

Active member
Don’t suppose any private operation would have dropped a match on public ground ?

Is that too cynical ?
Or someone's cigarette
 
The people we hunt on in ND burn the cattails to control the size of them. They get huge unchecked. Plus it makes it much easier to walk and hunt in the next year. It still comes down to tillable acres.
 

Golden Hour

Active member
Depending on where you were at in SD, I would just call the local GFP department. Fall burning is rare, but it could be that is the only time it was feasible.

Again, depending on the location, the water tables are incredibly high and the widespread use of drain tile is dumping a lot of water into sloughs and lakes that would normally have sat on other properties. I've come across multiple places that have held birds (cattails on the edge of sloughs/lakes) in the past only to find them drowned out this fall.
 

3car

Member
You positive it was a GPA? Burning just 1 wetland when most GPA's are littered with wetlands seams weird. Sounds more like CREP where its available to hunt but is still private land. Was it the entire tract? or just the wetland basin?
 

Munster927

Active member
You positive it was a GPA? Burning just 1 wetland when most GPA's are littered with wetlands seams weird. Sounds more like CREP where its available to hunt but is still private land. Was it the entire tract? or just the wetland basin?
Was definitely a GPA. And it wasn't the whole piece. Just appeared to be the cattail edge around the wetland. The grasses were there as I experienced 2 years ago.
 

3car

Member
That sounds like the wetland flooded out and killed the cattails. We have that going on in Northern Brown County were the high water killed the cattails and it kinda looks like it was burnt. Maybe a possibility?
 

Munster927

Active member
That sounds like the wetland flooded out and killed the cattails. We have that going on in Northern Brown County were the high water killed the cattails and it kinda looks like it was burnt. Maybe a possibility?
That could be. There did seem to be more water there than I expected but I had only been there before in the winter so it was nothing but snow so I have nothing to compare it to.
 
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