Off To a Good Start

Written by Phil Thorpe
Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Photo of Phil Thorpe.We've had excellent weather conditions and have made good progress on the survey. The southern grasslands are drier than last year, but the consensus is the area is about average overall. There isn’t any excess water (i.e., sheetwater), but the basins are full and providing good habitat for ducks. As we have moved north in the province, conditions vary from very wet to drier than last year; a mixed bag but no really poor areas. The Missouri coteau, running up from North Dakota through the center of the survey area, has had good water conditions and lots of waterfowl are using the ponds. I’ve noticed over the years that the more northern areas of the coteau can be slow to repopulate with ducks once the ponds fill up. These ponds have had good numbers of ducks using them and occupancy rates are high on them this year. It appears that ducks have finally moved into them.

Although it is drier than the last several years, this farmer might question that statement.

Although it is drier than the last several years, this farmer might question that statement. Photo by Phil Thorpe, USFWS

Stephen Chandler (L) and Phil Thorpe in the office.

Stephen Chandler (L) and Phil Thorpe in the office. Photo by Stephen Chandler, USFWS

No ice this year!.

No ice this year!. Photo by Phil Thorpe, USFWS

Drier conditions in the shortgrass prairie of southwestern Saskatchewan.

Drier conditions in the shortgrass prairie of southwestern Saskatchewan. Photo by Phil Thorpe, USFWS

The Missouri Coteau 40 miles west of Weyburn, SK.  Good water conditions continue in the coteau.

The Missouri Coteau 40 miles west of Weyburn, SK. Good water conditions continue in the coteau. Photo by Phil Thorpe, USFWS

Great habitat conditions between Regina and Saskatoon.

Great habitat conditions between Regina and Saskatoon. Photo by Phil Thorpe, USFWS