2016 Duck Population Report

Discussion in 'Missouri Flyway Forum' started by Mack Molloy, Aug 11, 2016.

  1. Mack Molloy

    Mack Molloy Elite Refuge Member

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    Duck Numbers Hold Steady
    Most species remain well above long-term averages

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) today released its report on 2016 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations, based on surveys conducted in May and early June by FWS and the Canadian Wildlife Service. Overall duck numbers in the survey area are statistically similar to last year and remain steady. Total populations were estimated at 48.4 million breeding ducks in the traditional survey area, which is 38 percent above the 1955-2015 long-term average. Last year's estimate was 49.5 million birds. The projected mallard fall flight index is 13.5 million birds, similar to the 2015 estimate of 13.8 million.

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    The main determining factor for duck breeding success is wetland and upland habitat conditions in the key breeding landscapes of the prairies and the boreal forest. Conditions observed across the U.S. and Canadian survey areas during the 2016 breeding population survey were generally poorer than last year. The total pond estimate for the U.S. and Canada combined were 5.0 million, which is 21% below the 2015 estimate of 6.3 million and similar to the long-term average of 5.2 million.
     
  2. jeffc

    jeffc Senior Refuge Member

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    This is surprisingly good news. Several species are up over last year, including my favorites mallards and redheads. It's nice to see scaup back up to average levels. I was amazed that ponds were down just 21% at survey time, and I know they got a lot of rain afterwards.

    Now we need good local habitat conditions and weather patterns for a good deSon here. Hope it happens. We are looking pretty good at my place and nearby Fountain Grove looks it's best in many years.
     
  3. Mack Molloy

    Mack Molloy Elite Refuge Member

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    How long has it been since Fountain Grove did not flood and lose all of their food? We have been fortunate this year not to have Grand River go wild...knock on wood!
     
  4. Cliner

    Cliner Elite Refuge Member

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    Great news for what was prognosticated by some earlier in the year. If we can get timely fronts (as we say every year), it could turn out to be a stellar year. The food situation seems to be great everywhere. The mound city bottoms look incredible this year. Haven't driven through Squaw in a few months, so I can't speak to their food but the surrounding private lands look great.
     
  5. wakenda

    wakenda Senior Refuge Member

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    Grand pass has less corn than usual. Which will just concentrate the birds on less area. Weather patterns will make or break the season here. Hope we have a mid November snow in iowa like last year and enough moisture to keep the plows out of the field.
     
  6. ALLSTAR 1

    ALLSTAR 1 Elite Refuge Member

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    Not necessarily. Moist soil units can produce very well. What it will do is concentrate hunters using the corn to hide. It will take extra work to avoid flaring birds. I have had discussions with MDC managers that show higher moist soil unit use by ducks throughout the season. Not 100% sold on that but have had some good hunts without corn. I assume you mean less acreage of corn.. not lower production...
     

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