- Wildlife/Waterfowl Watching
We understand peoples concern about the Clinton Pond and the ducks, here is some information on steps we have taken on this issue.
1- The flow of water into the pond: The City has collected all of the land drain water possible to feed into the pond. We have piping that collects flowing artesian well water and ground water from the other side of 2000 W all the way to the pond. This pond was built to act as a detention pond for storm water as well.
2- Clinton City installed an aeration system after the pond was constructed to introduce oxygen into the water to keep it healthy for the fish and wildlife. This system is regularly maintained and in operation. More recently we have replaced the pond diffusers to allow for better distribution of oxygen to enter the water.
3- Clinton City chemically treats the pond at least annually for plant and algae growth. This treatment has been working well for years. Before the City started treating the pond, City crews battled pond weeds and algae growth that was not only harmful for the fish and other wildlife, but made the pond unpleasant.
4- On Aug. 25th the City informed the Davis County Health Department of the dying ducks. They came out and tested the water for any forms of harmful algae blooms. Those tests came back negative. They also collected a few ducks for DWR (Division of Wildlife Resources) to be tested for botulism. These samples were sent up to Logan Utah and came back positive for Avian Botulism. More information about Avian Botulism can be found at this website. https://wildlife.utah.gov/avian-botulism.html. Botulism is an unfortunate natural occurrence. Clinton City is not the first to see its devastating effects. Other ponds in the area have also seen out breaks of botulism. According to the website, Avian Botulism occurs almost yearly in Utah, and can result in extensive losses, typically between July and September. Major waterfowl botulism outbreaks in Utah have occurred at the Great Salt Lake and estimated loss was in the hundreds of thousands. In 1997, estimated loss from a botulism outbreak at the Great Salt Lake was 514,000 waterfowl. This Bacteria lives is the soils naturally and becomes toxic during adverse conditions such as heat.
5- City crews have worked closely with other departments such as the Davis County Health Department. They regularly sample the water in the pond. Some years the pond is posted as having e-coli and citizens have been advised about getting in the water. This has not happened this year. The water is clear and samples have come back good. Although we have seen an unfortunate duck kill we have not had any unusual fish kill.
6- City crews are out every work day checking the pond for any dead ducks that may be present or other problems. According to the website listed above this is one of the only ways to manage and control the botulism outbreak.
Ultimately the ducks at our pond are the responsibility of the US Fish and Wildlife and are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. However Clinton City takes pride in the pond and is concerned about the health of the ducks. A couple problems we see are people feeding the ducks unhealthy foods and people dropping of their domesticated ducks. We will continue to work closely with other organizations in the County and State to address the health and safety of the ducks and other wildlife at our pond.