Hitchcock/Bredy Team, Signing Off

Written by Jim Bredy
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Photo of Jim Bredy.In a previous report, I noted how the survey gremlins returned this year with a vengeance. However, Mr. Hitchcock and I overcame their interference and successfully completed the Southern and Central Alberta survey portion on May 27. I feel fortunate to have had such a competent Crew Member again this year. He is one of those persons who looks at adversity as a challenge, not as a problem. Rest assured, Jay ALSO knows his ducks. I hope I have the good fortune to be able to work with this fine waterfowl man and gentleman in the coming years.

The good habitat conditions of the aspen parkland region in the Red Deer-Edmonton-Lloydminster corridor carried over into many portions of the area between Edmonton and Cold Lake, Alberta. The habitat started to dry out a bit more as one approached Slave Lake. This area is also known as Stratum 75. The “Peace Country” of Stratum 76 continues to be under the influence of a dry cycle. However, portions in the far north-west, north and northeast still have some good habitat conditions. The central portions of the Peace Country are still under the influence of heavy agriculture use.

It is still too early to tell what the final duck numbers will be, until our excellent staff at the Population and Habitat Assessment Branch (PHAB) “crunch the numbers.” Overall, it will be a mixed bag, with very dry conditions to the far south and dry conditions in the Peace Country. However, I noticed some of the best habitat conditions in the Calgary-Edmonton-Lloydminster areas, since I first flew this survey area in 1988. Portions had record raw pond numbers and ducks. I believe this area is going to “pop out” a lot of ducks this year.

I wish all of you many enjoyable days afield, whether it is a pleasant walk in the woods, or hiding behind a tree trunk as some ducks come parachuting through the treetops into your decoy spread. Until next year, for Southern and Central Alberta, this is the Hitchcock/Bredy team signing off.