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North Dakota's Increasing Duck Population

This year’s North Dakota and national duck flights are expected to be above average.

“We had a record high breeding duck count this year in North America.  We expect that production throughout much of that area should be pretty good this year,” game management section leader for North Dakota Game and Fish Mike Johnson said. “We’re expecting a good fall flight continentally.”

North Dakota has been in a wet-cycle since 1993. The damp conditions make it easy for waterfowl to live and breed, Johnson said.

“We’ve had a few dry spots in there, in fact just this last winter it was pretty dry,” Johnson said. “But we’ve had good production over all these years because we’ve had conservation reserve programs habitats on the ground, this is grassland provided by the Farm Bill. These large blocks of idle grassland are just what ducks need to nest successfully.”

Johnson claims the small amounts of rainfall this spring and summer should not affect next year’s duck flight numbers as long as there is a an average amount of snow this winter.  

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