Prairie Pothole Region Finally Getting Moisture
As I write this out of my Bismarck, ND office, it’s still snowing. When I woke up and turned on the television, they announced that we had broken the single month record of snow ever in a month timespan since it’s been recorded (around a century). The first thing came to my mind – the ducks are going to be in good shape and the pheasants are dying. It’s kind of a trade off through wet and dry periods here in the Dakotas, but it’s just nature’s cycle.
The past 4-5 years here has been really dry…in some areas bone dry. Delta Waterfowl put it best last July in their nesting conditions, “It’s Dry…Real Dry…Bad Dry.” Sloughs that I’ve never seen empty finally hit that point. It was pretty depressing for a waterfowler. Couple that with around a half million acres of CRP that got tilled under in ND alone, and the future of ducks wasn’t looking good.
But with the snow comes hope for the spring nesting season. The snow in the eastern part of ND is also setting records, and with an extremely wet fall they’re setting a pace for another record flood similar to the one in 1997 (Entire city of Grand Forks went under water). But we have a lot of winter left, and at this point it’s no secret this should be a wet winter.
So as of right now, the entire section of the Prairie Pothole Region is getting good moisture. Below is a snow map from this morning, Dec. 30th 2008 – keep in mind it’s still snowing in the central to eastern part of the state and hasn’t been recorded.