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A main water pump at popular Riverton Wildlife Area is down, cause unknown

One of the main water pumps at the Riverton Wildlife Area, in Fremont County, experienced a mechanical failure and stopped pumping over Labor Day Weekend. 

The pump, on the West Nishnabotna River, pumps water at 32,000 gallons per minute to the more than 1,500 acres that provides a waterfowl refuge and duck hunting opportunities to hundreds of hunters. The water level is about 10 inches below full pool, making it difficult for boat hunters.

Matt Dollison, wildlife biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources covering the Riverton Wildlife Area, said he has been in contact with a crane operator to remove the pump from the housing, and a specialist to diagnose and hopefully fix the problem. The work could begin as early as this week.

“It takes a while to fill the marsh. Every day it’s down means it will be that much longer before we get to full pool,” Dollison said. “While it’s not great news for boat hunters, this area will still offer some good walk-in duck hunting opportunities.”

The Jensen Tract, south of the town of Riverton, is not affected by this pump and is available for boat hunters.

The Riverton Wildlife Area is in the south duck and goose zone. The special September teal season is open through Sept. 10. Regular duck season opens Sept. 30.

The Iowa DNR has resources on its website for hunters looking for options to pursue ducks at www.iowadnr.gov/hunting then click on Migratory Game Birds in the left column.

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