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Banding Together for Waterfowl

Field Reports: Duck Production Outlook

The stage is set for good waterfowl production across many important breeding areas
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By DU Field Biologists

1. BRITISH COLUMBIA Following the spring runoff, the prospects for waterfowl production are very good along the coast and in the Peace parklands, while good production is expected in the south-central interior.

2. ALBERTA With the exception of a narrow band of fair habitat in the far south, wetland conditions are generally favorable for breeding waterfowl throughout Alberta. Reports indicate that good numbers of waterfowl have settled in the province, and recent warm weather and precipitation have fostered a strong breeding effort.

3. SASKATCHEWAN Although the spring migration and runoff were delayed due to below-normal temperatures, waterfowl returned to good to excellent wetland conditions across most of this province. A strong breeding effort has been observed, setting the stage for good waterfowl production.  

4. MANITOBA Spring also arrived late in southern Manitoba, with many northern pintails and mallards not initiating nests until late April. Wetland conditions are generally good throughout this province, which should provide favorable habitat for broods.

5. ONTARIO Spring was wetter and cooler than normal in this province, and early-season breeding habitats are in good shape overall. Permanent brood-rearing wetlands are in ideal condition, and field reports indicate a strong breeding effort by mallards, wood ducks, and blue-winged teal.

6. QUÉBEC This province also experienced a cool, wet spring. Overall, good wetland conditions and a typical breeding effort are expected.

7. ATLANTIC CANADA Following the spring runoff, water levels are high throughout this region, with record flooding reported in many areas. Broods of early-nesting waterfowl such as Canada geese, mallards, and black ducks are being observed.

8. NORTH-CENTRAL U.S. Prospects for waterfowl production are generally good across the northern Great Plains. Wetland conditions are very good in western Montana, and good in North Dakota, northern and western South Dakota, and northern Minnesota. Fair habitat conditions exist in northeastern Montana, southeastern South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota, and Iowa.

9. GREAT LAKES AND NORTHEASTERN U.S. A cool spring likely delayed waterfowl nesting efforts across much of the Great Lakes and northeastern states. However, continued above-average precipitation has provided very good wetland habitat conditions across both regions.

10. WESTERN U.S. In California, prospects for waterfowl production are generally poor, except in the Sacramento Valley and Suisun Marsh, where fair production is expected. Wetland conditions are generally good in eastern Washington and southern Idaho; fair in eastern Oregon and northern Utah; and poor in the southern Great Basin. In Alaska, very good wetland conditions exist after the spring thaw.
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