Category Archives: Waterfowl Management

Duck Habitat: NRCS Has Money for Management

Waterfowl, including ducks and geese, will find solid habitat along the Texas coast this year thanks to the United States Department of Agriculture Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative. If you are a landowner along the Texas coast and are interested in wetland or waterfowl management then I suggest you make contact with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and look at getting involved with their program to provide goose and duck habitat.

Priority areas in Texas are in Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Liberty, Matagorda, Orange, Waller, and Wharton counties with secondary priority given to the adjacent counties that include Aransas, Austin, Fayette, Grimes, Jasper, Lavaca, Montgomery, Newton, Polk, Refugio, San Jacinto, Tyler, Victoria and Washington counties. Continue reading

Wetland Management for Better Habitat

Wetlands are some of the most productive wildife lands in the country, having very high plant and animal diversity. Wetlands provide breeding grounds and habitat for thousands of ducks, geese, and other water-loving bird and wildlife species. There are many kinds of wetlands and many habitat management techniques that can be used to improve waterfowl habitat.

Shallow water depths from 2 to 18 inches are most desirable fo dabbling ducks such as mallards, pintail, widgeon, mottled ducks, shovelers, gadwall, teal and wood ducks. Puddle ducks do not usually dive, but tip-up and feed on seeds, acorns, and roots on the ground under water. Diving ducks, such as canvasbacks, redheads, rigneck, and scaup prefer deeper waters over 36 inches in depth. For best results in your waterfowl management endeavor, make sure to familiarize yourself with the habits and habitat needed for the wildlife you wish to manage. Continue reading

Waterfowl Management on Farm Lands

Waterfowl management on agricultural (farm) lands

Agricultural lands are great for the multi-purpose oriented landowner looking for additional recreational opportunities or income from wildlife. In addition to crops, farm land provides important feeding areas for various wildlife species, particulary waterfowl such as ducks and geese. However, these ag lands may not be attractive to waterfowl unless certain waterfowl management practices are practiced.

Most ag fields do provide some component of habitat for local wildlife throughout the year. However, many lands also serve as important habitat for migratory wildlife such as waterfowl. However, not all lands are sought after by waterfowl and that is usually because there is one important component that is missing — water. They are called waterfowl, after all, and here are some habitat management practices you can implement to create better wintering habitat, as well as duck and goose hunting. Continue reading

Waterfowl Management with Bottomland Habitat

Wetland management for waterfowl in bottomland hardwoods. 

Wetlands contain the most productive plant and animal communities in the world. And although there are many types of wetlands, bottomland hardwoods are particularly important. Not only because these areas serve significant ecological functions, but also because these bottomland wetlands are critical for local and migratory wildlife. Specifically, waterfowl use bottomland hardwoods for nesting, feeding, and wintering habitat. Landowners interested in providing better wildlife habitat should consider wetland management.

Bottomland wetlands are typically comprised of hardwood forest and the dominant tree species vary by latitude and geography. Bottomland forest are more productive than upland forest and the wildlife associated with them is different. Understanding the value of bottomland wetlands to wildlife is critical, and there are many practices that landowners can implement to improve and enhance natural bottomland wetland areas. The keys to providing quality river bottomland habitat for waterfowl include the following habitat management practices as outlined below. Continue reading

Pond Management for Waterfowl

Wetlands are some of the most productive wildlife habitat in the world, and there are all types of wetlands. Not only do certain types of wetlands provide for breeding and nesting grounds, but ponds — classified more as deepwater wetlands — throughout the United States serve as wintering habitat for migrating and over-wintering ducks and geese. Though many ponds do not provide great waterfowl habitat, there are some pond management techniques that you can implement to enhance your pond or small lake.

First, start by selecting areas for pond consruction with existing shallow flats or construct shallow areas around existing ponds. This will benefit wetland plants and provide feeding areas for ducks and geese. Another wetland management practice you can implement would be to install a water control structure to allow for water manipulation. A structure will allow you to trap rainwater during the fall, winter, and early spring. Water more than 8-inches in depth can be left for fish and livestock watering. Continue reading

Waterfowl Management: Depressions for Ducks

Wetland Management for Better Duck Hunting

Habitat management is the most important part of wildlife management, and it’s no different when trying to manipulate lands for waterfowl. Ducks and geese readily respond to flooded lands that offer high quality foods for foraging. Almost any property has some area that can be modified and enhanced to provide wetland habitat, particularly upland depressions, but it will take implementing wetland management practices to see results.

Upland depressions are areas that occur in native or improved pastures or even in low areas within wooded or forested areas. These are depressions that are found on dry land (upland). Some management techniques that can be used to create better waterfowl feeding and hunting areas from depressions include the following practices. Continue reading

Wetland Management for Waterfowl

Hunting waterfowl such as ducks and geese can be exciting and is an important part of wildlife population management, but providing adequate habitat should be of primary importance to any hunter or landowner. Providing habitat for ducks and geese varies from property to property, but active wetland management is the cornerstone to meeting the needs of migrating waterfowl populations.

Of all the wetland types out there, coastal wetlands are arguably some of the most important. These wetlands played a critical role historically because the millions of farm ponds and lakes that ducks and geese now use for wintering did not exist. Persons owning or leasing coastal wetlands can implement management practices that benefit local and migrating waterfowl and improve overall duck and goose hunting. Continue reading