Waterfowl Report says Habitat, Weather Conditions Slowly Improving

Courtesy Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

LITTLE ROCK – A cold front brought more rain to Arkansas and dramatically lowered temperatures across the state, a combination that bodes well for waterfowl hunting conditions.Rainfall totals of 1 to 1 ½ inches were common across the state, with some areas reporting even higher totals in conjunction with strong storms that accompanied the front’s passage this past weekend. Field reports indicate an increase in the availability of shallow water habitat such as sheet water in agricultural fields. Low-lying areas such as sloughs and moist-soil areas also benefited from the influx of water.

The water will help improve conditions on Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wildlife management areas, but hunters should keep in mind that this summer’s prolonged drought left exceptionally dry conditions in its wake, and many of the state’s major rivers remain very low.

In addition to the rainfall, the front brought much colder temperatures across much of the Mississippi and Central flyways. Frigid temperatures and snowfall across the northern plains should benefit Arkansas waterfowl hunters.

Additional rainfall is in the forecast in the coming days, along with a slight warming trend that should keep temperatures near seasonal averages.

AGFC biologists will be flying the season’s second aerial waterfowl surveys this week, and updated population estimates should be available in next week’s report.

While this waterfowl report seeks to provide information that is as timely as possible, hunters should keep in mind there’s often a lag of two or three days between the time field reports are received and this report is published. Thus, actual water levels and percentage of flooded habitat may differ from what’s reported here. The AGFC encourages hunters to check stream gauges (links are provided at the end of this report) and physically scout potential hunting areas to determine actual field conditions.

To assist waterfowl hunters with the latest information, the AGFC provides links to sources on waterfowl location and abundance in Arkansas and other states.

Maps showing graphical results of this season’s first aerial waterfowl survey are included. The links are available here.

This waterfowl report provides capsule information from agency staff in all corners of Arkansas and is updated each Wednesday throughout waterfowl season.

To receive the report each week on your computer, send an e-mail to this email address and type “Waterfowl Report” in the subject line.

Information on river levels can be found here and here.

Sunrise/sunset tables are available here and in the Arkansas Waterfowl Regulations Guide.

Read the detailed report for conditions in your favorite spot here.

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