Manitoba ground crew wraps up survey

Written by Marc Schuster
Friday, May 21, 2010

Photo of Marc Schuster.Our last survey day for this year was May 20, 2010. This constitutes 14 complete days of surveys with no bad weather days. The weather was outstanding for surveying ducks on the ground, but did present some challenges for the pilots because of the glare from the early morning sun. The fact that we were able to complete the survey so quickly illustrates how dry the survey area was, and how low duck numbers were for us. For example, in Stratum 35 (Southeastern Saskatchewan) we recorded a 67% increase in dry ponds from 2009 when just comparing the ground segments. We had hoped for better habitat conditions and duck numbers as we moved back into Manitoba from the Yorkton area, but found that not to be the case. To sum up, when we compare the Manitoba ground survey area from last year to this year, we find that conditions were generally drier and duck numbers were down. The area in Manitoba that did have good habitat conditions included south of Winnipeg to the Canada/US border and east towards Brandon. The area just south and west of Yorkton, SK, also recorded better habitat conditions with many permanent and semi-permanent and even seasonal wetlands holding adequate water.

Pipeline excavation through a wetland complex on the Fairlight survey line.  (Credit: Marc Schuster, CWS)

Pipeline excavation through a wetland complex on the Fairlight survey line. Credit: Marc Schuster, CWS

Unexpected visitor (moose) on the Browning survey line in southeastern Saskatchewan. (Credit: Marc Schuster, CWS)

Unexpected visitor (moose) on the Browning survey line in southeastern Saskatchewan. Credit: Marc Schuster, CWS

Ground crew waits for survey plane near Browning, Saskatchewan. (Credit: Marc Schuster, CWS)

Ground crew waits for survey plane near Browning, Saskatchewan. Credit: Marc Schuster, CWS

Volunteer Robert Buss checks an artificial wetland near Fairlight, Saskatchewan. (Credit: Marc Schuster, CWS)

Volunteer Robert Buss checks an artificial wetland near Fairlight, Saskatchewan. Credit: Marc Schuster, CWS

Seasonal wetland on the Penrith survey line in 2010, compared to how it looked in 2009 (Credit: Marc Schuster, CWS)

Seasonal wetland on the Penrith survey line in 2010, compared to how it looked in 2009 Credit: Marc Schuster, CWS