Waterfowl Habitat Best In Years, Biologists Say
LITTLE ROCK, AR –-(AmmoLand.com)- Biologists from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission are taking to the skies this week as part of their periodic aerial waterfowl surveys.
The AGFC is surveying Arkansas’s waterfowl habitats to size up the state’s waterfowl population for this weekend’s opening.
With all of the water in the state, duck concentrations are widely scattered.
Wetland conditions across the entire state are much better than last year. The heavy rains over the past few months kept many farmers out of the fields, AGFC waterfowl program coordinator Luke Naylor said. “Some farmers have allowed water to drain from fields and are trying to catch up on the soybean harvest, for others, crops are a lost cause. Many duck clubs have already captured water and many fields are ready for the season opener,” Naylor said.
Nearly all public areas in the state are at or above target flooding levels. As far as duck numbers are concerned, there are widely scattered reports of concentrations of ducks around the state, Naylor said. “Due to all of the water in the state, ducks have a lot of options to choose from, so we might see ducks in large concentrations in isolated areas,” he said. “They’re probably hoping from hot spot to hot spot,” he added.
Large concentrations of mallards are not being reported in the state at this time, but large numbers of mallards are being reported in South Dakota, Naylor said. “States to the north of Arkansas were flooded as part of the same weather systems that moved through here. There are still lots of flooded fields in other states that are holding ducks to the north of Arkansas,” he explained. Naylor said the additional duck habitat to the north of Arkansas may slow the migration into the state. “A minor migration may have occurred in the last few days, but there’s not a large migration entering the state as they take advantage of that habitat,” he said.
As soon as waterfowl survey results are collected, the information will be available at www.agfc.com.