Weekly waterfowl report: January 18, 2022

Published 12:09 pm Wednesday, January 19, 2022

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Jackson, MS – Last week, Mississippi experienced a return of more mild temperatures, followed by a rainy Saturday and a snowy Sunday in many areas as the remains of Winter Storm Izzy reached the deep south. Wetland habitat increased incrementally in some areas over the week, but most of the state is still below normal levels for this time of year. The Mississippi River level has come to a standstill recently, and although it is still below flood stage, water levels have reached into some areas preferred by both ducks and duck hunters.

River systems in the interior Delta have continued to fluctuate, but remain within their banks. This week’s weather outlook for Mississippi predicts a warm and rainy midweek, followed by colder temperatures lasting into the weekend. Waterfowl hunters looking for late-season winter weather at northern and mid latitudes could find what they’re looking for this week as temperatures take another dip across the Midwest.

Hunting reports declined last week, even as waterfowl numbers have increased across the Mississippi Delta, overall. Ducks and geese have been observed spreading out into newly flooded wetland habitat, perhaps impacting hunting success. Locally, hunters at Sandy Creek Wildlife Management Area reported a harvest of 2 birds according to the WMA check-in.

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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. Approximately two weeks remain in Mississippi’s regular waterfowl hunting seasons.

The early January waterfowl aerial survey has recently been completed, and survey results and distribution maps are now posted on MDWFP’s website and social media platforms. There was a significant increase in duck numbers observed during the early January survey, and biologists and hunters are hopeful that another increase will occur to finish the hunting season on a high note.

The last survey of the season is underway this week, and a report will be available soon after completion. 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.