AR: Weekly Waterfowl Report December 28, 2011
The following report is a compilation of state reports and waterfowl surveys from across Arkansas. This report provides a look at habitat conditions across the state.
Abundance of water, mild conditions plague hunters
LITTLE ROCK – Hunting conditions haven't changed much since last week's report, with the abundance of waterfowl habitat across the state apparently causing spotty distribution of ducks. And with mild weather in the forecast, a substantial migration event seems unlikely in the coming days.
Water levels remain high on many of the state's wildlife management areas, and agricultural fields and natural wetlands remain flooded in most parts of the Delta. With so much habitat available, ducks have plenty of places to go to avoid hunting pressure.
Still, some hunters have reported good success in flooded bottomland habitat along the Black, Cache and White rivers, and during the December aerial waterfowl survey, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologists observed many ducks using agricultural fields that were inaccessible because of flooded roadways.
The weather forecast calls for above-average temperatures through New Year's Day, with daytime highs reaching the low- to mid-60s through the weekend. The next blast of cold air isn't forecast to reach the state until Jan. 2, returning temperatures closer to normal.
The next aerial survey will be conducted the first week of January as part of the annual Midwinter Waterfowl Survey, which has been conducted across much of the North American wintering grounds since the 1950s.
While this waterfowl report seeks to provide information that is as timely as possible, hunters should keep in mind there's often a lag of two or three days between the time field reports are received and this report is published. Thus, actual water levels and percentage of flooded habitat may differ from what's reported here. The AGFC encourages hunters to check stream gauges (links are provided at the end of this report) and physically scout potential hunting areas to determine actual field conditions.
To assist waterfowl hunters with the latest information, the AGFC provides links to sources on waterfowl location and abundance in Arkansas and other states. The links are available at http://www.agfc.com/hunting/Pages/HuntingWaterfowlReport.aspx#1.
This waterfowl report provides capsule information from agency staff in all corners of Arkansas and is updated each Wednesday throughout waterfowl season. To receive the report each week on your computer, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and type "Waterfowl Report" in the subject line.
Sunrise/sunset tables are available at: http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/astronomical-applications/data-services/rs-one-day-us and in the Arkansas Waterfowl Regulations Guide.
The entire report can be viewed at: