Spring started early in Saskatchewan. Record-breaking high temperatures prompted spring runoff and an early waterfowl migration in March. Temperatures then dropped below normal in April, and several areas experienced late snowfall events. These late storms improved runoff conditions, especially in central and eastern portions of the province. Generally, spring wetland conditions have been good to excellent in most agricultural areas due, in part, to carryover from wet conditions last year. The only exception is in the extreme west, along the Alberta border, where conditions have deteriorated due to dry fall conditions and low winter precipitation.
Ducks and geese arrived earlier than normal this spring, and mallards, pintails, Canada geese and snow geese were being observed before the end of March. After a brief delay in migration (during a cold spell), things are now back on track. Blue-winged teal and ruddy ducks are present, mallards and pintails have begun nesting, and Canada geese have been incubating nests since early April. Good numbers of arctic geese are now staging in traditional spring staging areas.
Spring farming operations have begun in western and southern areas, but it will be another couple of weeks before farmers on the east side of the province will get on the land due to wet conditions.