Field Reports: 2013 Duck Production Outlook 

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

1. BRITISH COLUMBIA Following the spring runoff, the prospects for waterfowl production are generally good along the coast and in the Peace parklands, while fair production is expected throughout much of the interior.

2. ALBERTA Late spring wetland conditions range from fair on the southern prairies to excellent in the northeastern parklands. Waterfowl breeding efforts are now under way, with lone drakes present on seasonal wetlands and Canada geese in incubation. 

3. SASKATCHEWAN An above-average snowpack and a sudden increase in temperatures in early May resulted in an extraordinary runoff, which produced good to excellent wetland conditions across this province. A strong breeding effort has been observed, boding well for waterfowl production. 

4. MANITOBA Runoff from a heavy snowpack also produced good to excellent spring wetland habitat in this province, but additional rainfall will be required to maintain these conditions for renesting birds and broods.

5. ONTARIO Significant precipitation this spring has recharged inland wetlands across this province. With breeding and brood-rearing habitats generally in good shape, waterfowl production is expected to be strong this year. 

6. QUEBEC Following a dry winter, wetland conditions were better than expected this spring, especially in the north and west. A strong breeding effort has been observed, and the outlook for waterfowl production is generally good. 

7. ATLANTIC CANADA Waterfowl returned to good spring wetland conditions in this region. Early nesters such as Canada geese and black ducks were beginning to emerge with young broods in mid-May, and the peak hatch was expected to occur in late May and early June.

8. NORTH-CENTRAL U.S. In May, heavy rainfall improved wetland conditions across large areas of Montana, South Dakota, and North Dakota. Waterfowl nesting efforts are strong, and with improved wetland habitat, brood survival should be enhanced. While habitat loss remains a serious concern, good waterfowl production is expected in this region.

9. GREAT LAKES AND NORTHEASTERN U.S. Above-average April precipitation improved habitat conditions considerably in the Great Lakes states, and waterfowl production is expected to be good in this region. Dry conditions persist across the northeastern United States, and fair waterfowl production is expected.

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