Duck migration slow so far

October 16, 2007 at 07:00 PM

North Zone duck season is just days away, but numbers for Saturday’s opener aren’t likely to be where hunters would like.

Last Friday’s latest aerial census (Oct. 12, 2007) by the Illinois Natural History Survey showed duck numbers along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers lag well behind average. That’s no big surprise, what with unusually warm temperatures of late and word out of North Dakota that hunting there has been slow.

Mallard totals are also well behind the average for this time of year.

Total ducks counted on the Illinois River (31,290) was well behind the 10-year average of 42,824 for this time of year. Mallards counted (9,285) lagged behind the average of 15,339.

Total ducks counted on the Mississippi River (9,020) was about half the average.

Here is the Illinois River count: Illinois_River_2.pdf.

Here is the Mississippi River count: Mississippi_River_2.pdf