General Flyways Info

Important Notice: will be shutting down on January 2, 2019. However, most of the content found here will now be available on the the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Program website.

Mallard in flightOne of the first things waterfowl managers learned from their early waterfowl banding efforts was that waterfowl follow distinct, traditional migration corridors or flyways in their annual travels between breeding and wintering areas.

Since 1948, waterfowl have been managed by four administrative Flyways that are based on those migration paths: the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central, and Pacific Flyways. Each Flyway has a Flyway Council which is a formal organization composed of one member from each State and Province in that Flyway. Recently, Mexico has also provided representation at Pacific and Central Flyway meetings and discussions.

Each of the Flyways also has a Technical Committee composed of waterfowl biologists from the states and provinces in the Flyway. The Technical Committees meet several times annually to review the biological data from monitoring programs and provide recommendations to their respective Flyway Councils. Recommendations that are adopted by the Flyway Councils are presented to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Regulations Committee for consideration in the setting of waterfowl hunting regulations and management programs.

The Flyway Councils and Technical Committees are involved in many aspects of migratory game bird management, including development of recommendations for hunting regulations and assisting in research and habitat management activities. Some of the important waterfowl hunting regulations that are set each year, including season length and daily bag limits, are specific to these individual Flyways.

Administrative Flyways

Pacific Flyway
Pacific Flyway
Central Flyway

For more information on what's happening in your flyway, please select your region...

Biological Flyways

Biological Flyways, Credit: Michael A Johnson, North Dakota Game and Fish