Ill be the guy here ! Other than reworking water delivery that was in dire shape; nothing that has been done by DU or CWA has/is IMHO been good for Wister ! Im not bashing DFG employees here by any means. If your old enough to remember , the Gonsalez Wister management time period that destroyed many of Wister best attributes for ever, then you really appreciate the guys that have worked Wister in recent years. I think they do a great job with limited funds ie; manpower, equipment, etc...... that is a whole 'nother issue !
Island blinds are for those who have the physical capabilities; this eliminates all hunter access. Hell, even pit blinds in a field become obstacles at some point for older folks.
Like Duckfan stated island blinds up North like Mendota as example, have hard bottoms and walking on that stuff compared to Wister is like walking on the sidewalk.
The roads, or from some dikes, that have been created over the years are a joke compared to what was original. The width of individual ponds is way to wide; in most instances 1 or 2 smaller dikes should have been added to each site. With the changes in pond width, in my opinion, you have to hunt in the water on marhstools or the ducks can fly and land down the opposite side far out of gun range. But now we're back to the debate about access for all to regarding island blinds.
If your old enough to remember the main and intermediate dikes at Wister were also much lower. Ducks would line up on the checks to sun, feed and rest in most ponds but still be able to see somewhat from pond to pond.
For me a perfect example of work that to me is not great is the changes to the T10 area. T-10 5 was one of if not the best area at Wister. It wasn't necessary to remove all the intermediates dikes. Eliminating dikes pushing sites like T10-2 that used to have water on on side and field the other to a stake, then pit blinds wasn't the best idea. Even if you hunt the T10- 2 or4 sites the fields are too wide with limited mobility of where to set up and hunt. T10-5's pond on the East side is so wide its ridiculous.
S22 was one of the best spots on the refuge for snow geese. For some reason starting back in the Gonsalez era the area was left fallow for years. Then when is revamped its turned into island blinds in a bay. Again reducing access for all. However, this last season I did see more quality birds wanting to use the area. Which is great but not all can do the islands. Believe if you do this long enough your times comin !
I could go on and on about areas like U10, 312's etc.... that the work that has been done might work for other places or maybe even places with more funding would be better; but not Wister. It is and always has been a different place to hunt ! Ive hunted ducks and geese in a lot a places over the past 52 years, Wister is its own animal !
Ok Ill stop !