Mississippi’s Waterfowl Report: Jan. 11, 2022

Published 1:08 pm Thursday, January 13, 2022

JACKSON — Mississippi finally received another round of winter-like weather that waterfowl hunters had been waiting for last week, as a system swept in from the north. 

Along with cooler temperatures, some areas received much needed rainfall which helped to maintain or add to wetland habitat availability in the Mississippi Delta.

Although habitat availability has increased, much of the state is still below normal levels for this time of year. The Mississippi River level has seen a steady rise since the beginning of the new year, and although it is still below flood stage, water levels have begun to reach many areas preferred by both ducks and duck hunters. River systems in the interior Delta have fluctuated throughout the season but have stayed well within their banks. 

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This week’s weather outlook for Mississippi predicts another warm week, followed by a front with rain and colder temperatures (from Winter Storm Izzy to the north) over the weekend and into early next week. While this winter storm is not currently predicted to impact much of Mississippi directly, it could be significant enough to cause migration of waterfowl from the northern portions of the Mississippi

Flyway into more southern latitudes. Hunting reports improved overall last week, as temperatures temporarily returned to a more seasonable range. Although duck harvest reports continue to be dominated by species like green winged teal, northern shovelers, and gadwall, reports of mallard harvest increased over the last week. 

Snow, blue, Ross’s, and white-fronted geese remain very high in number in the Mississippi Delta, and hunters continue to report success in harvesting geese, even when hunting over setups that are focused on ducks. As always, availability of quality wetland habitat and weather conditions will greatly influence waterfowl harvest on both private and public lands.

Mississippi’s regular waterfowl seasons are currently open and will continue through Monday, January 31. The early January waterfowl aerial survey experienced some weather delays, but has recently been completed. Preliminary reports indicate an increase in both waterfowl numbers and wetland habitat. Full survey results and distribution maps will be posted on MDWFP’s website and social media platforms. 

For more information regarding waterfowl in Mississippi, visit our website at www.mdwfp.com/waterfowl or call us at (601) 432-2199. The Waterfowl Program web page lists links to hunting regulations, migration reports, and habitat information for specific WMAs and other public lands throughout the state. 

Sandy Creek Wildlife Management Area did not have any waterfowl harvests and St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge is closed to waterfowl hunters due to the Mississippi River flooding.