Manitoba Ground Crew Enters Home Stretch

Written by Marc Schuster
Monday, May 23, 2011

Photo of Marc Schuster.The Manitoba ground crew entered Manitoba yesterday after completing the surveys for the southeastern portion of Saskatchewan. Our overall impression is excellent wetland conditions with record duck numbers observed on some of the air-ground segments. There are many seasonal wetlands here now, where dry conditions prevailed the past few years. Semi-permanent and permanent wetlands are fully recharged. While we have had our fair share of weather days this year, it appears that the next few days will hold up and we will be able to finish our crew area by this coming Thursday.

On a side note, I thought I would mention that our ground crews regularly observe “magic” on the air-grounds. Did you know that one of the interesting things that will happen when you have a very wet year is that artificial wetlands (dugouts, borrow pits, etc.) can “disappear” or be “transformed” into natural wetlands? This happens when water floods out past the margin of the artificial wetland into an adjacent natural wetland. In this instance, the wetland will be counted as a natural wetland by the ground crew, and from the airplane, as the original shape that would delineate the artificial wetland is no longer apparent. You would never know by just looking at the picture below that there was an artificial wetland right in the centre of it. In this case there is a borrow pit in the middle. We know this because the aerial photo we are using was taken at a time when the artificial wetland was apparent. When we hit a dry year, the water will recede within the banks of the borrow pit and the artificial wetland will “reappear.” Magic.

Flooded Borrow Pit on the Edenwold Transect near Regina, Saskatchewan.  Can you see the original pond?

Flooded Borrow Pit on the Edenwold Transect near Regina, Saskatchewan. Can you see the original pond? Photo by Marc Schuster, CWS

Karen Bollinger flying over the Riceton Transect in southeastern Saskatchewan.

Karen Bollinger flying over the Riceton Transect in southeastern Saskatchewan. Photo by Garth Ball, CWS

Redhead Drake on the Edenwold Transect near Regina, Saskatchewan.

Redhead Drake on the Edenwold Transect near Regina, Saskatchewan. Photo by Marc Schuster, CWS

It’s not just all about ducks… an Eared Grebe on a Pond on the Edenwold Transect near Regina, Saskatchewan.

It’s not just all about ducks… an Eared Grebe on a Pond on the Edenwold Transect near Regina, Saskatchewan. Photo by Marc Schuster, CWS