Manitoba Ground Crew Well On Its Way After Experiencing a Slow Start

Written by Marc Schuster
Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Photo of Marc Schuster.After a slow start in Southwestern Manitoba the Manitoba crew has finally been able to gain some traction and complete several days of surveys. The slow start was mainly due to the adverse weather that was plaguing this area of the province last week. There is a record amount of water in the Assiniboine River watershed that has greatly increased the potential for flooding. The City of Brandon declared a state of emergency and evacuated approximately 1000 residents in a preventative measure in case the Assiniboine River breaches the dikes near the river.

As far as the ground portion of the survey goes, we are seeing full and flooding semi-permanent and permanent wetlands, as well as water in basins that have been dry for a number of years. In fact, the southwestern part of Manitoba was the wettest I have seen in over 25 years of participating in the air-ground survey! While this may not be good news for farmers, it bodes well for waterfowl. It can also make for a challenging day navigating the roads (see pics!). We are also observing record duck numbers on some of the ground segments and all areas surveyed to date are up from last year.

Presently we are in Regina as we complete the survey for the southeastern part of Saskatchewan. While not as wet as the conditions observed in Southwestern Manitoba, it is still very wet in most areas. Tomorrow we will be heading up to Yorkton as we complete another full day of surveys.

Manitoba Ground Crew, 2011 (left to right): Marc Schuster - Wildlife Technician, Canadian Wildlife Service; Jeff Asmundson - Volunteer, Canadian Wildlife Service; Garth Ball - Volunteer, Canadian Wildlife Service; Darin Walker - Volunteer, Canadian Wildlife Service; Jim Leafloor - Biologist, Canadian Wildlife Service; Jenna Black - Student Technician, Canadian Wildlife Service; Rob Buss - Ducks Unlimited Canada.

Manitoba Ground Crew, 2011 (left to right): Marc Schuster - Wildlife Technician, Canadian Wildlife Service; Jeff Asmundson - Volunteer, Canadian Wildlife Service; Garth Ball - Volunteer, Canadian Wildlife Service; Darin Walker - Volunteer, Canadian Wildlife Service; Jim Leafloor - Biologist, Canadian Wildlife Service; Jenna Black - Student Technician, Canadian Wildlife Service; Rob Buss - Ducks Unlimited Canada. Photo by Marc Schuster, CWS

Water near the top of a sandbag dike in Brandon, Manitoba.

Water near the top of a sandbag dike in Brandon, Manitoba. Photo by Marc Schuster, CWS

Assiniboine River as it crosses under the Trans-Canada Highway west of Brandon, Manitoba.

Assiniboine River as it crosses under the Trans-Canada Highway west of Brandon, Manitoba. Photo by Garth Ball, CWS

Darin Walker checking flooded pond on the Lyleton transect in Southwestern Manitoba.

Darin Walker checking flooded pond on the Lyleton transect in Southwestern Manitoba. Photo by Marc Schuster, CWS

Pond flooding across the road on the Fairlight Transect in Southeastern Saskatchewan.

Pond flooding across the road on the Fairlight Transect in Southeastern Saskatchewan. Photo by Marc Schuster, CWS

Oil well flooded by a nearby pond on the Browning Transect in Southeastern Saskatchewan.

Oil well flooded by a nearby pond on the Browning Transect in Southeastern Saskatchewan. Photo by Marc Schuster, CWS