It’s hard to say if it will translate to bountiful duck hunting season in Arkansas, but a Delta Waterfowl forecast at least indicates a strong fall flight.

The coronavirus pandemic forced the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Canadian Wildlife Service to cancel the annual Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey for the first time since 1955. But Delta Waterfowl was able to conduct a successful survey in the “prairie pothole region” that includes the Dakotas and Manitoba and is an important region for nesting waterfowl. 

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department estimated a statewide breeding population of 4 million ducks, which is up 18 percent from last year. Delta Waterfowl expects improved flights of dabbling ducks, especially blue-wing teals, mallards and gadwalls. 

For Arkansas hunters and visitors to the state, a key piece of data was an estimaged 872,982 breeding mallards, the 18th highest index recorded, which is expected to mean plenty of ducks traveling the Central and Mississippi Flyways.

To read more about the Delta Waterfowl forecast click here.