Restoration of Boulder County Audubon’s Dodd Reservoir

It’s happening!

We are making progress to return Dodd Reservoir to native prairie, providing habitat for native and migrating birds as well as prairie wildlife. Periodic updates are being posted here, in chronologial order.

Though we do not fit the parameters for the WHIP grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the USDA for this year, they will stay on for technical support and information. Their help is very important in this complicated process. Our Board has committed $6,000 for this project ($5,000 from reserves plus $1000 for signage from Precision Plumbing). Since prairie dog fencing is quite expensive, we will be looking for other partners and extra support from our members. We hope that we can raise an amount equal to the $6000.00 the Board has pledged. We are also looking forward to some outstanding times at Dodd with old and new friends from our organization.

Dodd Reservoir projectResults of 2013 restoration efforts:

  • The cover crop of Milo was very successful, and much of it is still standing.
  • The Smooth Brome really took a hit, but enough has come back to require another double application this spring.
  • The plowed area has some Smooth Brome but is doing well as a comparison.
  • With the demise of the Smooth Brome, there was an emergence of a lot of Russian Knapweed and several varieties of thistle.
  • The county was unable to burn the wetlands, and there is a heavy infestation of Canada Thistle and Teasel in these areas.
  • The Prairie Dogs have begun to explore on the BCAS side of the pasture fence on the west.

Plans for 2014:

  1. Add Prairie Dog barrier of 36” neutral-colored snow fence to pasture fence on west boundary of property, remove pasture fence on north boundary to allow migration and remove downed and standing barbed wire along the north shoreline.
  2. Mow restoration area both for mulch and to allow spraying and planting.
  3. Disc the plowed area and plant to natives this spring.
  4. Plant shrubs (Peach Leaf Willow) to begin replacing Crack Willow on the southern shore in mid-Aprl, and hand spray Canada Thistle and Teasel where possible in mid-April. The shrubs have been ordered, and BCAS plans a work day in April.
  5. Spray (2 times) the restoration area in early May or whenever the Smooth Brome has begun growing and the knapweed and thistle rosettes are growing.
  6. Plant cover crop of Milo in restoration area in mid to late May.
  7. Hand weed worst areas of non-restoration areas in mid-July.
  8. Work with Boulder County to burn non-restoration areas; hand broadcast wetland grasses, reeds, sedges and forbs as determined and when appropriate.
  9. Hand weed and spray worst areas of the non-restoration area in late September.
  10. Mow milo and weeds in October to prepare for fall planting of natives.
  11. Plant native grasses and forbs in both restoration areas as recommended by Phillips Seeding, if the brome and weeds appear to be under control; or, do one more year of cover crop if necessary.
  12. Maintain bird boxes, bee boxes, transect counts. Erect bat box and drill holes in the standing unused fence posts to attract more native bees.

Dodd Reservoir projectThis is an exciting project, and we have the right technical team on board. We need lots of hands and energy.

The Audubon Youth Naturalists have already agreed to set up the transects, do bird, butterfly and dragonfly counts, identify shoreline tracks, sample water quality and pick up barbed wire and other discarded junk. They will also help with the tree planting and prairie dog fencing.





Dodd Reservoir Update for October 2014:
John Klatenbach
1. Native seed and forb will be planted late October 2014.Rust Fungus2. Dodd Reservoir has been selected to participate in a Canada Thistle bio-control study with the Colorado Department of Agriculture. The restoration plan at Dodd includes using the most environmentally conscious techniques that are possible in the restoration process. So, when John Kaltenbach notified us that a rust fungus (Puccinia punctiformis) had been approved for field studies as a bio-control agent for Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense), we were excited about an herbicide-free Canada Thistle control. This host-specific pathogen causes the early spring shoots of the thistle to be weak and leggy with undersides covered with spores. These gangly shoots fall over and infect nearby rust- free plants. As with most bio-control agents, the host is not eradicated but able to be maintained with mechanical measures such as mowing, grazing or fire. Colorado Department of Agriculture will follow the plot at Dodd for 2 years and will keep us informed about the research from the plots around the state.


  1. John Kaltenbach (left) inoculates Rust Fungus on Canada Thistle.
  2. Puccinia punctiformis, AKA “Rust Fungus” (above right)

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