While populations remain strong, dry breeding conditions across the vast prairie pothole region likely led to poor duck production
“The prairie pothole region — the most important duck production area on the planet — is almost universally dry. There will be far fewer juveniles in the fall flight, and that’s unfortunate because the best seasons are those with an abundance of young ducks.” — Dr. Frank Rohwer, president and chief scientist of Delta Waterfowl
BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA — Delta Waterfowl forecasts that poor breeding conditions in the prairie pothole region will result in a smaller fall flight than waterfowl hunters have experienced for many seasons. The Duck Hunters Organization expects that while blue-winged teal, green-winged teal and gadwalls had average to below-average production, other key species fared worse, including mallards and, even more so, pintails, wigeon and canvasbacks. However, favorable conditions were available to eastern-breeding ducks — essential to the Atlantic Flyway — and to boreal-nesting species such as bluebills and ring-necked ducks.