As hunters around northeast Louisiana are getting their final preparations done tonight (Friday) for tomorrow’s season opener in the East Zone, we’ve got a an exclusive look at the numbers from today’s Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries aerial survey. The numbers aren’t “official” yet because it takes a few days to get the official report done. But we were able to catch up with LDWF biologist Cliff Daily today and found this out. Thanks to Cliff for giving us a quick view here before opening day.
The completed Northeast Waterfowl Survey shows an estimated 240,106 ducks and 36,447 geese in the region.
The largest concentration of ducks was near the Bunkie area (146,385). We had good numbers on and adjacent to Ouachita WMA (now Russell Sage) (24,332); Mer Rouge/Bonita (20,856); Vidalia and parts south (13,325); Delta Farms adjacent to Dewey Wills WMA (9,282), and Wham Brake (8,150).
There was an abundance of water, but the birds were definitely not spaced evenly on the habitat. There were vast acreage of flooded fields without any birds. The numbers are good, especially since we haven’t had a frost yet.
Gadwall, Northern Pintail, Green-winged teal, Northern Shoveler were most abundant in that order.
For comparison, in 2014 Nov., there were an estimated 139,000 ducks and 388,000 geese.
There were thousands more geese before this week’s massive storm front moved many of them further south. More will be coming, though. You can bet on that. Best of luck in the field. Make sure and check out the Jeff Simmons’ Duck Report here every day of the upcoming season for more reports and information!