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Migration Alert: Above-average Minnesota temperatures expected as migration continues

Report posted November 3, 2011
  • photo by John Bent
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Duck hunting success has remained slow over the past week with a general lack of movement of ducks and no major weather patterns to move migrant ducks into the state. By most accounts, ducks that are present are fairly educated and hunting has been fairly difficult. Hunting pressure has declined considerably in most locations and expect duck hunting pressure to be very low this weekend with the opener of deer season.

Waterfowl counts conducted this week showed duck numbers generally declined in most areas; duck numbers are considerably less than last year at this time, especially in southern Minnesota. Ring-necked duck numbers dropped on most lakes and refuges in northern and north central Minnesota and will continue to decline over the next week. Scaup numbers increased from last week, but scaup are fairly concentrated in just a few locations. Mallard numbers remain fairly low in western and southern Minnesota. Canvasback numbers on the Upper Mississippi River in SE Minnesota should be high this week. A few more late season migrants such as buffleheads and goldeneyes moved into the state and fairly large numbers of tundra swans are now present.

Canada goose numbers remained stable in most areas but large numbers of Canada geese are still present in southern Canada. Expect numbers to only increase slightly until a major weather system develops in Canada. A few snow geese are present in the western and NW portions of the state.

Wetland conditions remain dry and crop harvest is nearly complete statewide.
No major weather fronts are expected this weekend or into next week. Temperatures should remain above average through Saturday with strong southerly winds expected tomorrow and Saturday statewide. Colder but seasonal temperatures are expected Sunday and into the middle of next week, with highs in the 40s in northern Minnesota and near 50 in southern Minnesota. Lows are expected to be in the mid 20s in northern areas, so some shallow water areas may start to see some ice at least in the early mornings. Some rain/snow is expected on Sunday in portions of the state, but no significant precipitation is expected into early next week.

The month of October will rank as one of the warmest, and driest, based on the historical record.

Report provided by Minnesota DNR. To get the full report and regioanl breakdown, visit http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/waterfowl/index.html

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