North Central U.S. Pond Numbers

North Central U.S. Pond Numbers

Wetland numbers and conditions were excellent in the U.S. prairies. The 2011 pond estimate for the north-central U.S. was 3.2 ± 0.1 million, which was similar to last year's estimate (2.9 ± 0.1 million) and 102% above the 1974-2010 average (1.6 ± 0.02 million). The eastern U.S. prairies benefited from abundant moisture in 2010 and the entire U.S. prairies experienced above-average winter and spring precipitation in 2010 and 2011, resulting in good to excellent conditions across nearly the entire region. The western Dakotas and eastern Montana were extremely dry in 2010. However, conditions there improved from fair to poor in 2010 to good to excellent in 2011. Further, the abundant moisture and delayed farming operations in the north-central U.S. and southern Canadian prairies likely benefited early-nesting waterfowl.