Waterfowl Avoidance areas look to keep wildlife undisturbed

Areas are in effect at Lake Onalaska, near Goose Island, Wisconsin Islands

Wildlife Officials are asking boaters to avoid some areas on the Mississippi River so wildlife can rest and feed.

Tens of thousands of waterfowl travel through the Lake Onalaska area as part of their fall migration. It’s a prime spot for them to stop on the journey.

‘Voluntary Waterfowl Avoidance’ areas are set up in places like Lake Onalaska, signified by White Buoys.

Officials at the US Fish and Wildlife Refuge say the number of boaters disturbing the birds in the area has been on the rise over the past few years and want boaters to give the birds some space.

“This area with the wild celery that is a submersed plant provides the opportunity for the birds to get the fat, the energy reserves needed for the rest of the migration and into winter. We like to see them stay on the water and not be disturbed,” said Jim Nissen, of the US Fish and Wildlife Refuge.

Other voluntary avoidance areas along the Mississippi River are south of Goose Island and the Wisconsin Islands closed area between Stoddard and Genoa. Those are in effect through mid November.