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Field Reports: 2014 Spring Habitat Conditions

Waterfowl should find good spring wetland conditions on many important breeding areas this year
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BRITISH COLUMBIA Much of this province received average to above-average winter snowfall, setting the stage for a good spring runoff and favorable wetland conditions. 

ALBERTA Following a dry fall, many areas of this province received average to above-average winter snowfall. In the south, an early runoff created good wetland conditions for returning waterfowl. Runoff potential is high in central and northern portions of the province, where good to very good wetland conditions are expected.   

SASKATCHEWAN A good runoff is also expected across much of this vast prairie province, with the greatest potential in the north-central portion of the grain belt. As a result, wetland conditions should be good to excellent this spring for breeding waterfowl.  

MANITOBA In the south, wetlands are in good shape thanks to ample fall precipitation, a good frost seal, and runoff from this winter's snowpack. In the north, runoff from above-average winter snowfall should produce very good wetland conditions.  

ONTARIO After a bitterly cold winter with frequent snowfall, wetlands in this province should be brimming with water following the spring thaw, and  good habitat conditions are expected as a result. 

QUÉBEC While winter precipitation totals varied throughout this province, runoff should be sufficient to provide good habitat for breeding waterfowl in most areas.  

ATLANTIC CANADA Spring arrived late in the Maritimes Provinces, and heavy snow cover was still present well into March. Good habitat conditions are expected across this region, although spring flooding is a concern in certain areas. 
 
NORTH-CENTRAL U.S. A wet fall followed by very cold winter temperatures created a good frost seal across much of the northern plains. This allowed spring runoff to flow into wetland basins, providing good to excellent wetland conditions across this region.

GREAT LAKES AND NORTHEASTERN U.S. Near-record ice cover on the Great Lakes and above-average winter precipitation should ensure good wetland conditions for breeding waterfowl in these regions when spring finally arrives. 
 
WESTERN U.S. Severe drought has resulted in poor spring habitat conditions in California and much of the Great Basin. Wetland conditions are fair in the Great Salt Lake, southern Idaho, and east-central Oregon, and fair to good in Washington. In Alaska, the outlook for breeding waterfowl is very good along the coast and good in the interior.


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