Extreme Weather Results in Record Waterfowl Numbers

JACKSON -The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) completed its early January aerial waterfowl survey this week as part of the nationwide Mid-Winter Waterfowl Survey. Estimates for both mallards and total ducks were the highest observed since MDWFP began using its current survey methods in 2005.

The survey estimate of the Mississippi Delta is 1,442,406 total ducks, including 678,235 mallards. The early January aerial waterfowl survey report with waterfowl estimates and distribution maps can be found online at www.mdwfp.com/wildlife-hunting/waterfowl-program/aerial-survey-reports.

The extreme cold weather which swept across the country late last week and remained through early portions of this week likely had a significant impact on the number of birds arriving in Mississippi. “The widespread snowfall and icy conditions that reached into the South over the last several consecutive days forced large numbers of waterfowl to migrate in search of milder weather and available wetland habitat,” said Houston Havens, MDWFP Waterfowl Program Coordinator.

Mississippi usually receives peak waterfowl numbers during the month of January, when the waterfowl hunting season is in full swing. The regular waterfowl season will continue through January 29, followed by the final youth waterfowl hunting day on February 4. Goose hunting seasons will have a final season segment February 4 – 15, 2017.

For more information regarding waterfowl in Mississippi, visit our website at www.mdwfp.com/waterfowl or call us at (601) 432-2199. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mdwfp or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDWFPonline.