Duck numbers, habitat conditions improving
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologists are flying the season’s second aerial waterfowl survey this week. Results won’t be available until next week, but preliminary reports indicate a substantial increase in duck numbers since the November aerial survey.
The increase is likely the result of the recent extended period of below-average temperatures, which froze habitats and covered food sources to the north of Arkansas. Another draw for wintering waterfowl is the recent increase in the amount of flooded habitat in the state.
Although temperatures have moderated since the deep freeze hit the state two weeks ago, melting ice and additional rainfall have improved habitat conditions in many areas. The percentage of flooded habitat on many AGFC wildlife management areas is increasing slowly, and rainfall predicted this weekend should bolster water levels on both public and private lands in the coming days.
The second segment of duck season ends at sunset Monday. The season will be closed Dec. 24-25. It reopens Thursday, Dec. 26 and runs through Jan. 26.