Northwest Territories Survey Complete

Written by Fred Roetker
Monday, June 13, 2011

Photo of Fred Roetker.The NWT survey crew finished transect flying June 10. After several days of dodging forest fire smoke at the beginning of the survey and a short delay for a scheduled aircraft inspection, we had ideal flying conditions that allowed us to complete the survey. Wetland conditions were mostly good across the Northwest Territories. However, the Mackenzie River delta, an important production area for both dabblers and divers, was impacted by flooding. Sometimes, too much water can be problematic. In this instance, even though the Mackenzie River was at low stages through most of our sampling unit, ice jams during break up caused flooding of wetland margins and associated uplands along several tributary channels just upstream of the Beaufort Sea. See photo below. This may have a negative impact on waterfowl that nest in these wetland margins.

Ice jams caused flooding of key wetlands in the Mackenzie River delta.

Ice jams caused flooding of key wetlands in the Mackenzie River delta. Photo by Caleb Spiegel, US FWS

Sea fog from frozen Arctic Ocean near Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories.

Sea fog from frozen Arctic Ocean near Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. Photo by Caleb Spiegel, US FWS

Long-tailed ducks.

Long-tailed ducks. Photo by Caleb Spiegel, US FWS

Survey aircraft, Quest Kodiak 100 at Canada's northernmost mainland airport, CYUB, Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories.

Survey aircraft, Quest Kodiak 100 at Canada's northernmost mainland airport, CYUB, Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. Photo by Caleb Spiegel, US FWS