Eastern Dakotas

Yep, It's Dry Out Here!

Eastern Dakotas
Written by Kammie Kruse
Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Photo of Kammie Kruse.I don't want to add more gloom and doom to what Terry Liddick, the biologist pilot for our survey area, wrote in his report, but I can only heartily agree that it is DRY!!!!!!! Plus, the few wetlands that do have water are often empty of ducks. I think that they saw the poor conditions in South Dakota and kept flying north. I would have expected that with all the rain that we received this week we would have observed more temporary wetlands, but the fields are so dry they are sucking the water right into the soil. We are looking forward to hopefully better conditions in North Dakota. Helping me this year with conducting the ground count is Helina Alvarez (Wildlife Refuge Specialist at Sand Lake NWR, SD), Chris Reighn (Fish and Wildlife Biologist, Boise, ID) and a returning member from last year Stephen LeJeune (Engine Captain at Texas Chenier Plains Complex).

Survey Begins in Eastern Dakotas

Eastern Dakotas
Written by Terry Liddick
Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Terry LiddickThe Eastern Dakota’s survey crew is assembled and ready to go. The survey got underway Sunday, 3 May when the aircrew and part of the ground crew arrived in Mitchell, SD. The following day, the rest of the ground crew arrived and began reviewing and training. The aircrew is again this year—for the fifth consecutive year—comprised of pilot/biologist Terry Liddick and observer Dave Fronczak. The ground crew will once again be led by Kammie Kruse.

Eastern Dakotas Ground Crew All Done

Eastern Dakotas
Written by Kammie Kruse
Friday, May 30, 2014

Photo of Kammie Kruse.We finished up another ground survey in the Eastern Dakotas. Our overall duck numbers are slightly down from last year with one interesting note that our scaup numbers were higher than they have been in a few years. For more information on habitat conditions etc., make sure to read Terry Liddick’s blog.

Eastern Dakota's Crew Area All Wrapped Up

Eastern Dakotas
Written by Terry Liddick
Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Terry LiddickWell, The Eastern Dakota Crew Area is wrapped up for the year. We finished on Sunday, May 18th. This year we flew the crew area in minimum time as we only experienced two weather days. That is amazing considering how the wind can blow in the Dakotas this time of year! We usually experience a few rain days, but wind gets us as much as anything, but not this year. With the two weather days, we were able to take the mandatory 2 days off in a 14-day stretch and yet still complete the survey.

More Water as We Move North

Eastern Dakotas
Written by Terry Liddick
Monday, May 12, 2014

Terry LiddickWe are making good progress in the Eastern Dakotas Survey Area and we have flown 3 more days since the last blog. Since then we have finished South Dakota and moved up to Jamestown, North Dakota. Things are starting to improve. North Dakota has significantly more water and ducks than South Dakota and that is apparent already.

Ground Crew Wrapping Up South Dakota

Eastern Dakotas
Written by Kammie Kruse
Saturday, May 10, 2014

Photo of Kammie Kruse.The Eastern Dakotas ground crew is going to survey the last air-ground correction segment in South Dakota tomorrow, and my overall impression so far is that South Dakota was pretty dry and the duck numbers are a little down. It seems comparable to the conditions from last year, though it was even drier in some places this year, which is a big difference from the very wet conditions from 3-4 years ago, but still not as dry as it was in the mid-2000s. I should know since I have been a part of the ground crew in the Eastern Dakotas for 12 of the last 13 years. Joining me (Kammie Kruse, Wildlife Biologist, Central Flyway Office, Lakewood, CO) this year on the crew is Faye Healy (Wildlife Biologist from Malheur NWR, Oregon), Stephen LeJeune (Engine Captain from the Texas Chenier Plains Complex), and Mike Nelson (Biological Science Technician from Kirwin NWR, Kansas).

Meet Me in Mitchell

Eastern Dakotas
Written by Terry Liddick
Saturday, May 03, 2014

Terry LiddickThe Eastern Dakota’s survey crew met in Mitchell, SD, today to prepare for the 2014 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey. Dave Fronczak will be my observer again, and this makes the fourth consecutive year he and I have been the air crew for this segment of the survey. The ground crew is once again led by Kammie Kruse and her crew consists of Stephen LeJeune from TX, Mike Nelson from Kansas and Faye Healy from Oregon. This past winter had below-average temperatures and above-average snowfall in much of our crew area, but May is starting out near normal. The vegetation seems a few weeks behind normal, but early indications suggest that the waterfowl are here and the species composition and breeding phenology looks good.

Survey’s a Wrap in Eastern Dakotas

Eastern Dakotas
Written by Terry Liddick
Sunday, June 02, 2013

Terry LiddickWell. After a long battle with Mother Nature, the Eastern Dakota’s Breeding Population Survey was completed on June 2nd. It may not have been the first time in history that the survey was completed in June, but it was a first for me. The rain would just not stop! We endured 5 days of rain in Minot ND where we did not fly at all, and another 2 mornings where fog and mist prevented us from taking off before 10:00 a.m. Because our SOP requires us to quit counting by noon, that made for two pretty short mornings! That being said, there wasn’t a whole lot of complaining because the Dakotas certainly needed the rain! It was a battle against the elements from the time we entered North Dakota.

A Tale of Two Stories

Eastern Dakotas
Written by Kammie Kruse
Friday, May 31, 2013

Photo of Kammie Kruse.Whew, this was the latest I have been out counting ducks for the ground crew in my 12 years on the survey, but we finally finished the last Air-Ground transect on May 31 on a cold and dreary day.

Plenty of Vacancies, Ducks Welcome!

Eastern Dakotas
Written by Terry Liddick
Friday, May 24, 2013

Terry LiddickWell, after a long five-day delay in Jamestown due to weather and maintenance, we got going again and finished stratum 46 which encompasses the southern half of North Dakota. After all the rain we received the past four days, the landscape looks quite a bit different. We are once again seeing sheet water, and some of the seasonal wetlands that for the most part have been dry now have a little water in them. That’s the good news. The bad news is, it is all new water and most of it is vacant. Many more wetlands are vacant than occupied by ducks, a result of the rain maybe coming a little too late. It will be great for the long term drought but maybe not so beneficial for this years’ breeding effort.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Eastern Dakotas