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Migration Update: Pacific Northwest - Nov. 29, 2010

Columbia River Basin gets push of birds
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By Jeff Kurrus

In the Pacific Northwest, a powerful cold front and storm system that brought bitter cold temperatures and snow to the Seattle area before Thanksgiving has improved hunting prospects. In the Columbia River Basin in southeastern Washington, Avery pro-staffer Craig Riche reports a large influx of wigeon, divers, and mallards. "The Columbia stays open all winter, so it always helps to have cold temperatures not only to bring down new flights of waterfowl but also to freeze sloughs and ponds in the surrounding area. This concentrates waterfowl along the river and improves our hunting."  

 Avery pro-staffer Kent Contreras is also optimistic following the cold front. "Each year, our big push usually starts about Thanksgiving, and with our current subzero temperatures and snow to the north of us, I'm very excited about this week."

Contreras hunts mainly on public land on the Pend Oreille River between Albeni Falls Dam near Newport and further north to the river's Box Canyon Dam. When on the river, he hunts near islands and at the mouths of creeks coming into the main water. "These are great spots for puddle ducks, including mallards and gadwalls, during cold weather," he says. "We look for areas with thick beds of milfoil, which are great feeding spots for dabblers."

 
DU Migration Map Report:

J. Vanwingerden reported Increasing numbers & migrations of Puddle Ducks   
Submitted: 11/28/2010 3:23:17 PM
Temp: 31 - 40 degrees    
Weather: Rain
Wind: Calm    Wind Direction: from Northeast
Comments:
There are lots of geese everywhere. Mallards in cornfields. Teal, spooners, widgeon, are all in lagoons and some hidden ponds on private property, but not bad goose numbers.

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