Gardnerville evacuates ducks from Gilman ponds

Gardnerville, Nev. — A smattering of ducks remain at the Gilman Avenue ponds waiting to get wet. However, that day may still be down the road, and thanks to the drought there won’t be that much water for them.

This week, the town obtained a permit from the Nevada Department of Wildlife to collect the ducks from the pond and move them to a new site.

Creature Catchers of Carson City’s Heather Lackey caught and caged the ducks for transport, according to Town Manager Tom Dallaire.

Last week, it looked like there might be some water coming down Martin Slough, but cold temperatures turned off the tap. As of Wednesday, there wasn’t enough water in the river at the Cottonwood Slough diversion to move water into the Martin Slough which feeds the ponds.

Dallaire said that more senior rights upstream of the diversion are getting the water for now.

He said that even when the water does go into the slough, it will only be for a week or two.

“That’s giving residents and the ducks false hope,” he said. “Water in the ponds will not last because of the actual groundwater table at the pond is so low and needs to be recharged.”

For water to stand in the ponds, the water table needs to rise above the bottom of the pond, which is unlikely to happen given the water available this year, Dallaire said.

“Relocating the ducks was the best option for everyone in town,” he said.

Engineer Geoffrey LaCost said that the ducks in the pond are predominantly domesticated Rouen ducks, according to the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

“These ducks are presumably someone’s backyard pets that got away,” he said. “The residents I have had contact with have been positive of the move.”

Dallaire asked residents to refrain from feeding ducks and geese at the ponds.


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