Milford Wildlife Area Waterfowl Report -
Waterfowl numbers

We've now had 4 flood events this fall.  The river crested 6 feet above flood stage in early September and 1 foot above in early October and 3 feet above in early December and again in late December.  The boat ramps on Gatesville/Lower Smith and Mall Creek are not accessible due to ice.  All wetlands, river and the north end of the lake are currently iced over.   

The COE is hoping to reach their target elevation of 3 feet below pool soon.  This will make it extremely difficult to hold water in the wetland pools.  The youth area and Zach Hudec may be able to be maintained by pumping if conditions permit (no ice).  If the river/lake is too low the North Smith and Beichter/Martin pumps are not operational.

Waterfowl counts given on this report are based on what was observed on the day the report is updated. Waterfowl numbers vary greatly from day to day and weather conditions and hunting pressure will affect the numbers of waterfowl on the area.

No ducks and 1,000 geese (mix of canadas and snows) were observed on the area.


REMINDER: Late duck season is January 19th-27th.  For more information, visit


Lake level Current Level is 1141.57 and Conservation Pool is 1144.4 The dam is releasing 2,000 CFS. The inflow into the lake is 3,050 CFS.
Hunting conditions

Vegetation growth and seed production was desirable in many of the wetland areas due to early dry conditions, prior to the flooding caused by the river and lake.  All managed wetlands currently have either pumped water or flood water in them.  The high flood waters have damaged the quality and food value of the vegetation in the wetlands.

No activites/hunting allowed in the Steve Lloyd Wetland/Refuge.

Motorized boats are only allowed in the Mall Creek wetland, electric motors are considered "motorized". All other public hunting wetlands are open to NON motorized boats and walk in hunting.

Expected hunting success Poor

Do NOT drive on dikes. Vehicles disrupt and discourage waterfowl from using the wetland areas. We have had several dikes being damaged due to unauthorized vehicles driving on them. Scouting is best done on foot to evaluate bird numbers and habitat conditions.

Please report any vehicles on dikes and anyone seen disturbing our pumps. Without the pumps in optimal condition we are unable to pump the wetlands to their greatest potential.

Remember - an electronic permit/sign-in on Isportsman is required for all hunting on Milford Wildlife Area. All hunters (youth included) must first register online by creating an account.  Hunters can then check in using the I-sportsman system from any phone or internet device. The information collected and comments received are very useful in establishing future management goals for the area. for more information on seasons and limits.