Has the drought affected duck populations?

  • lindyrig79
    Participant
    Forest Lake / Lake Mille Lacs
    Posts: 5043
    #2051158

    Just wondering if anyone has heard of the drought has affected duck populations and/or nesting? Thinking locally but I think a lot of Canada has been dry too?

    BigWerm
    Participant
    SW Metro
    Posts: 9603
    #2051161

    Do they do any annual assessment similar to the pheasant roadside count? I know saw a couple sloughs that had a ton of ducks on it, but don’t have any reference on what a regular year looks like.

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 13985
    #2051162

    Do they do any annual assessment similar to the pheasant roadside count?

    I don’t think they do a statewide/regional count like they do for pheasants. But I know that there is a North American population assessment done annually by the US Fish & Wildlife. I don’t think they did one in 2020 because of the pandemic and they haven’t released the one for 2021 yet. Its quite long, 78 pages. Obviously a continental assessment may not be much help in terms of local duck populations, so take it with a grain of salt.

    https://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/pdf/surveys-and-data/Population-status/Waterfowl/WaterfowlPopulationStatusReport19.pdf

    lindyrig79
    Participant
    Forest Lake / Lake Mille Lacs
    Posts: 5043
    #2051219

    Dang. That DU article was from back in early June. Carryover from the dry winter I guess. Not good news for duck hunting this fall, but we’ll see.

    blank
    Participant
    Posts: 1675
    #2051239

    Delta Waterfowl had a quick conditions report video last week. Not a great outlook for the prairies, but it is what it is.

    lindyrig79
    Participant
    Forest Lake / Lake Mille Lacs
    Posts: 5043
    #2051578

    Thanks for posting. Kinda what I was afraid of, not good. Just hope it’s wet next winter/spring to fill back up those potholes.

    snelson223
    Participant
    Austin MN
    Posts: 445
    #2051582

    In South Central MN the duck population seems way down.

    Randy Wieland
    Participant
    Lebanon. WI
    Posts: 13280
    #2051726

    Unfortunately, if you see water levels are lower at any given wetlands, it’s pretty much a given that critters can easily access nesting sites. Earlier this spring I saw many small groups of goslings. Instead of 7 to 12, I was seeing 3 to 5.

    The other side of the equation is the growing population of critters. With such low $$$$ for pelts, I’m seeing more coon, possum, skunks then ever before

    Jensen
    Participant
    Posts: 461
    #2051807

    Earlier this spring I saw many small groups of goslings. Instead of 7 to 12, I was seeing 3 to 5.

    X2 in most areas I’ve scouted was 2 to 5 Gosling’s.

    Musky Ed
    Participant
    Posts: 661
    #2051812

    What drought? We had almost 5″ of rain total two weeks ago, and last week’s rain gage total was 5 3/4″. Grass was so long when I got back home the other week, I had to put the bagger on our zero turn, and we have over 3 acres to cut. My son lives just south of Milwaukee, and their yards are totally burned out and dormant.

    Randy Wieland
    Participant
    Lebanon. WI
    Posts: 13280
    #2051820

    rain total two weeks ago,

    Wrong time frame to compare to. Breeding and nesting was months ago. Up until a few weeks ago, we were almost 10” behind on rain

    This pond by me usually has 4 to 5 nesting geese. This year nearly non existent. Critters got them all. This pic was today, normal water height is about 2” below metal frame

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    1. FB28E76A-3893-43D6-88A6-913FFD95913A.jpeg

    tornadochaser
    Participant
    Posts: 756
    #2052119

    Fall flight numbers will be down. No way around that. I’d actually prefer 1 more year of drought after this one to ensure good vegetation takes root where water levels have dropped. That way if the water does return, there’s ample improvement in water quality, food availability, and bug/invertebrate habitat for the ducks. Also, I’d much rather throw huge silhouette spreads out on sandbars and mudflats rather than hike floaters into waist deep water. waytogo

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