Illinois hunting and fishing

Early migrants, like green-wing teal, are ahead of schedule this fall. Photos by Chris Young.

Looking for the next wave of migrating ducks? Check the migration forecast

November 14, 2011 at 11:35 AM

State waterfowl biologist Ray Marshalla sent this duck migration forecast Monday morning.

So far, duck migrations in the Illinois River Valley have been ahead of normal for early migrants, such as teal and pintails, and behind for later migrants such as mallards. 

The Mississippi River Valley has been behind for the most part but has picked up recently. 

We were unable to conduct aerial surveys last week due to weather but we hope to get some flown this week. 

Southern Illinois has been behind normal migration until recently. 

Last week we saw a good movement of ducks into Illinois but many mallards seem to be staying north.

Weather forecasts this week look favorable for another good push of ducks south, including mallards. 

Here’s the general rule of thumb:

The average daily temperature must be at or below 32 degrees for three days in a row for freeze up to cause ducks to migrate. 

The average is calculated by adding the high and low temperatures and dividing by two. 

Below are some forecasts for average daily temperatures for the general areas where ducks might be staging that migrate through Illinois. 

Some ducks from Canada and the Dakotas may fly right to Illinois even though temperatures may not cause freeze up in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. 

Others could head to Arkansas and Louisiana since it is getting late for early migrants regardless of temperature. 

Ducks tend to migrate at night with clear skies and north or northwest winds. 

They often leave ahead of a front.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Average Temperature Forecasts

Saskatoon, Canada

Today -  23, Tue – 15, Wed – 10 , Thu – 16, Fri – 7 , Sat – 4, Sun- 3
Looks like ducks in Saskatchewan will be heading south soon.

McClusky, North Dakota

Today – 32, Tue – 23, Wed – 16, Thu – 26, Fri – 22, Sat – 14, Sun – 15
Ducks should be leaving ND as well this week.

Webster, South Dakota

Today – 37, Tue – 26, Wed – 21, Thu – 28, Fri – 35, Sat – 23, Sun – 19
Same for SD for migration forecast.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Today – 41, Tue – 30, Wed – 28, Thu – 31, Fri – 38, Sat – 35, Sun – 27
Many ducks should leave this area by Fri but temps are moderating after that so many may hang up at this latitude for awhile.

Madison, Wisconsin

Today – 46, Tue – 39, Wed – 32, Thu – 32, Fri – 37, Sat – 34, Sun – 35
On the verge of freeze up this week but many ducks may stay in this latitude as well.

Illinois hunting and fishing