Final days of season to see warmer weather
LITTLE ROCK – Changing weather conditions have been the rule this duck season, and the final days of the 2010-11 season will be no exception.
After a season of very little rainfall, up-and-down temperatures and other weather changes, Arkansas waterfowl hunters will get a shot of almost spring-like weather over the final days of the season.
Temperatures will continue to rise throughout the weekend with highs expected to reach the lows 60s by the weekend.
Nighttime temperatures for central Arkansas are forecast to drop into the low 40s on Friday and Saturday night.
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologists took to the skies last week for the 2010-11 season’s final aerial waterfowl surveys. Observers counted a total of 1,786,677 ducks in the Delta with 1,311,245 mallards included in that total. In the Arkansas River valley, observers counted 60,635 ducks including 41,850 mallards. Duck numbers have fluctuated this season due to limited rainfall.
Biologists said it appeared that most ducks were scattered last week in the Delta. Thursday’s freeze-up had ducks concentrated on Friday flight. Habitat conditions and water levels in the fields looked about average as a whole. Most rivers (e.g., Bayou DeView, Cache, White, Black, St. Francis) looked well below average depths. The Cache and Bayou DeView were especially low. The low water conditions forced ducks to keep open holes in fields on Friday or continue south looking for open water.
All shallow water habitats were frozen last week. Good numbers of ducks were spotted on large bodies of water throughout the Arkansas River Valley. Habitat conditions are still poor due to lack of rainfall. Hunters with water might expect good success this last week of the season, but the warm weather may prove a challenge.
Arkansas’s duck season ends Sunday, Jan. 30.
To assist waterfowl hunters with the latest information, he 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.