Waning Production

Waterfowl hunting across Canada; from the sounds of New Foundland to the lakes of Ontario to the vast fields and potholes of the plains to the high artic and the sea duck hunting of the Pacific. Includes Quebec duck hunting, Ontario duck hunting, Manitoba duck hunting, Saskatchewan duck hunting, Alberta duck hunting & all other provinces indluding goose hunting info as well.

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Waning Production

Postby Oldducknut » Sat Jul 02, 2005 9:45 am

Waning Canadian ProductionMarch 8, 2005 - Delta Waterfowl -Waning Canadian Production Fewer Ducks in the US

BISMARCK, ND-Duck hunters from Minnesota to Louisiana are organizing
rallies and planning public hearings in an attempt to answer the most
nagging question in the outdoors: "Where were the ducks?"
Delta Waterfowl President Rob Olson says one reason hunters across the country have been disappointed by recent duck seasons is that the Canadian portion of the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) isn't attracting and producing as many ducks it once did.
"Duck hunters believe we still have lots of ducks," Olson says. "They've
been told the fall flights have been shortstopped by mild winters or by
refuges or changing farming practices-or all of the above. But the biggest
culprit is that we don't have as many ducks as we used to, and lack of
production on the Canadian side of the breeding grounds is a big part of the
problem."
Olson says duck populations always rise and fall in response to water
conditions on the prairie breeding grounds, and the 1990s were no exception.
"Most hunters were satisfied with the number of ducks they saw in the '90s,
but prairie Canada didn't participate in the bounty-at least not at its
former levels."
A look at the breeding population of mallards during the last three wet
cycles paints a grim picture of Canada's waning productivity.
"Between 1955 and 1958, prairie Canada attracted an average of 6.9 million
nesting mallards each spring," Olson says. "During the wet cycle between
1970 and 1976, an average of 4.8 million mallards nested in prairie Canada.
But during the wet cycle that lasted from 1994 to 1999, only 3.5 million
mallards settled there each spring, barely half the number it attracted in
the 1950s.
"Not only are fewer mallards settling in prairie Canada, but nest success is
half what it was in the '50s," Olson says. "With half the breeding mallards
experiencing half the nest success-well, you do the math."
Olson says the average number of mallards that settled in prairie Canada
during the wet cycle of the '90s was comparable to the 1960s, a decade
remembered for drought conditions, low duck numbers and very restrictive
seasons.
"Prairie Canada is no longer the pristine wilderness many duck hunters
envision," says Olson. "Canada doesn't have large-scale government-backed
conservation programs like the US, and that means Canadian farmers are
forced to put as much land as possible into production.
"With no provincial crop subsidies or conservation programs, it's a simple
matter of economics-farmers have to get bigger and more efficient if they're
to survive. Waterfowl managers have to become more efficient, too, if we
hope to reverse the declines in duck production."
Olson says the US portion of the PPR picked up the slack for Canada during
the wet cycle of the 1990s. "Research conducted by the Fish and Wildlife
Service shows that the US portion of the region now attracts three times the
density of nesting ducks that Canada does, and hens nesting in the US bring
off broods at a higher rate than Canadian-nesting ducks.
"One reason the US is more productive than Canada is the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which idled millions of acres of nesting cover in the Dakotas, Montana and Minnesota," says Olson. "And let's not forget about the Fish and Wildlife Service's federal duck stamp program, which secured over 90 percent of the permanently protected waterfowl habitat on the US side of the PPR.
"More than 90 percent of the continent's ducks are produced on private
land," Olson says. "That means conservationists must work toward
farm-friendly programs that provide the habitat nesting ducks require to be
successful."
Olson says Delta has been working with Keystone Agricultural Producers
(KAP) and is close to announcing the first pilot projects for Alternate Land
Use Services (ALUS), a CRP-type program for Canada. "ALUS is currently our
best chance to have a large, landscape-level impact on Canadian breeding
ducks, and it has the full support of most ag groups across Canada.
"Prairie Canada is critical to healthy duck populations," says Olson.
"Some of the conservation programs in place there have been successful, but
others have not. The prairie portion of Canada occupies 120 million acres,
and there simply aren't enough conservation dollars to secure adequate
habitat to impact duck production across all of it.
"In most areas of the Canadian prairie, we'll never have sufficient habitat
to increase duck production in our lifetimes, so we must put other
management tools to work."
Olson says Delta is expanding the use of Hen Houses (nesting structures) in Canada this year, and is hoping to launch a predator management program to Canada in the near future.
The spring issue of Delta Waterfowl Magazine contains the first in a
three-part special report on the status of prairie Canada. To learn more
about Canada's waning productivity, visit www.deltawaterfowl.org.

Editors: For more information, contact Rob Olson or John Devney at
1-888-987-3695.
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Postby Greg Wile » Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:12 pm

Very informative. :thumbsup: But here in Atlantic Canada it seems like the duck and goose numbers are up from bygone years due to the change in agricultural crops and wetter springs. I may be misconceived but thats the way it seems.
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Postby mallardman77 » Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:38 pm

I'll have to say the same thing as Greg, I can't remember ever seeing the amount of ducks we've seen this spring. We'd go out into the marsh and see a couple thousand ducks in a day. Now if they can only be that thick at hunting season....

Not as many geese in the marsh, but 1/2 hr west at Oak Hammock the geese stage there by the tens of thousands.

Kris.
Is it september the 8th yet???

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Postby Oldducknut » Sun Jul 03, 2005 6:29 am

The one thing i can say is this past season there were more mallards and woodies than I am used to seeing. However duck numbers tend to be up and down -year to year area to area. So is the overall picture down for waterfowl in the East/Central/ Western flyways? I think so. Lets ask our selves this question, "With so few licenses sold, why are there not enough ducks to fill yer bag limit every day"
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Postby Greg Wile » Sun Jul 03, 2005 7:40 am

When I look in the album at the Pics fellas are postin I have to ask why cann't these guys get their limits when we can with a lot fewer birds in our area? :hammering: I don't like to say it but when I looked thru some stats for average number of shots per duck harvested I am not surprised that some go home with nothing more than a dirty gun and a dog wondering why he had to leave the house. :toofunny:
Build memories, take a kid out doors and teach them about nature by interacting with it, hunting and fishing.

Learn from the past, don't dwell on it.
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