MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Although this year’s heavy rains have ravaged Midwestern cities with considerable flooding, they have also done wonders for Minnesota’s wetlands and the waterfowl that live there.
Minnesota’s estimated breeding duck population this year was 687,000, which is up by more than 100,000 from last year’s estimate, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said. This year’s duck numbers are also 11 percent above the long-term breeding duck average.
Along with more ducks, Minnesota can claim more wetlands. The DNR says it recorded the highest wetland count on record this year, recording some 360,000 wetlands. That number is up 33 percent from last year.
“When you combine the wet conditions across much of Minnesota last fall, lots of snowpack, and above average spring precipitation, it’s not surprising that we saw record wetland numbers across the survey area this spring,” said Steve Cordts, a DNR waterfowl specialist. “With such good wetland conditions, I would expect production, or the number of young ducks hatched, to be good this year.”
As a part of the DNR’s Duck Recovery Plan, it is trying to attract and maintain a breeding population of one million ducks while simultaneously maintaining Minnesota’s duck hunting tradition.
You can view the DNR’s Waterfowl Report here.