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Chautauqua NWR Spillway - Summer 2007

Chautauqua NWR Spillway - Summer 2007

Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge, Mason County

This photograph shows waters from the Illinois River flowing over a spillway into the south pool of Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge. The system was designed to allow larger floods to connect the south pool with the river. Such floods during the summer, however, are detrimental to the wetland communities in the refuge because plants may be completely drowned or seed production may be hampered. If this happens, migratory birds later in the year will find less food. If mudflats are flooded over when the shorebirds are migrating, they will fly elsewhere.