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Thread: 1 million+ in Missouri

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Default 1 million+ in Missouri

    Coordinated statewide surveys of Conservation Area wetlands and National Wildlife Refuges are conducted approximately every other week during the waterfowl season. They are normally conducted on Mondays, weather permitting, and reported on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

    Comments of: 2018-11-20

    Compiled by Frank Nelson
    A lot things have changed since our last web post. Snow has blown across the state multiple times, the Middle Zone closed for the split and opened back up, the South Zone Youth Weekend has taken place, and on a final note, the number of ducks in the state on public managed wetlands has risen dramatically.

    This progression in waterfowl abundance can be attributed to the winter-like weather advancing the Mississippi Flyway's fall migration over the last couple of weeks. Other than a few days, temperatures throughout Missouri have been exceptional cooler than normal, averaging between 12-18 degrees below average. Snowfall has fallen across Missouri multiple times ranging from a few inches to a dusting depending upon the event, 9-10th, 12-13th, 15th, 18th, and location. This has resulted in new daily snowfall and low temperature records being made across the state. These conditions have caused ice to begin accumulating thickness in shallowly flooded wetlands in northern Missouri.

    A week and half ago the overall total number of ducks doubled from 432,065 to 986,643, as early migrants moved on south and mallards moved in from the north. This occurred primarily over November 8-9th, but some places continued to exchange birds or received another push through the 13th. Hunters may have noticed a shift in species composition as Northern Pintails abundance plummeted from 20 to 3 percent last week. Another indicator was the scattering of Buffleheads popping up on some public areas, along with an increase in green-winged teal across the state. However, the biggest and most notable gains were witnessed in the doubling of Gadwall and tripling of Mallards. In the past week we've had another cold front move through and exchange the ducks present in Missouri. Managers noted November 16-18th picking up primarily mallards and snow geese. In a couple locations another push of pintail were also picked up by this front. The Gadwall that arrived last week, headed for warmer climes at this time. Currently, Mallards by far and away the most common duck at seventy-four percent of the birds present. Snow-geese numbers have also continued to climb in the last week and have been noticed flying overhead as well.

    This week's total tips us over the million duck mark across public managed wetlands in Missouri. With a total of 1,043,951 ducks, this places us higher than the five-year average of 898,943, but is very similar to the numbers we saw at this time last year and in 2013. Last week's inflection point in migration was also quite similar to the pattern we observed in 2017 and 2013. However, the weather that followed Thanksgiving and headed into December made the migrations curves at the end of the 2017 and 2013 drastically different. Last year, conditions became mild in December and we held a high number of birds until things got cold in January. In 2013, the duck numbers continued to build for a few more weeks before they plummeted between the first and second week of December due to bitter cold.

    The first part of the South Zone season opens up this week on Thanksgiving, November 22nd before closing on Sunday, November 25th for its split. The Middle and North Zone seasons will remain open until January 1st and 7th. We are close to peak numbers and only time and weather will tell what's in store for the second half of Missouri's waterfowl season. Have a great Thanksgiving, be safe, have fun and enjoy the ones you're with.

    The next web posting will be December 5th.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Wateree, South Carolina
    Posts
    31,780

    Default

    For a WMA by WMA and species breakdown...

    https://extra.mdc.mo.gov/cgi-bin/mdc...urvey/main.cgi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    257

    Default

    Id like to be sitting in grand pass right about now. 5000 acres and 175000 ducks, 35 ducks per acre aint bad

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