The following is an abbreviated report from the September aerial survey. Weather did not allow us to complete the survey in SE LA, so total numbers are not comparable to past estimates.
Contact me if you have questions or comments.
Larry A. Reynolds
Waterfowl Study Leader
Louisiana Dept. Wildlife and Fisheries
2000 Quail Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE & FISHERIES
POST OFFICE BOX 98000
BATON ROUGE, LA 70898-9000
Waterfowl Population Estimates Date: Coastal Zone: Sept. 9-10
in Louisiana’s Coastal Zone Below Catahoula Lake: Sept.10
U.S. Highway 90 and on Catahoula Lake
Reported By: L. Reynolds and J. Olszak
September 11, 2015 Pilot: M. Chauff
Estimates made from Aircraft
- Survey was NOT completed in SE LA. Only 4 of 10 transect lines were completed.
** Estimate is less than 1,000.
Thunderstorms and rainfall precluded completion of this survey in southeast Louisiana where only 4 of 10 transect lines were flown. This abbreviated report was distributed because of large differences in estimates between this September and the previous 2 years despite an incomplete survey.
The estimate of 243,000 blue-winged teal in just SW Louisiana greatly exceeds the 50,000 estimated over the entire survey area in 2013 and the 101,000 estimated in 2014. It is slightly higher than the long-term average of 226,000 for the entire survey region. A large concentration was seen in a rice field north of Lacassine NWR and smaller concentrations were noted in the marsh of Lacassine Pool and in the rice fields west of Gueydan. The 2,500 bluewings counted on Catahoula Lake were similar to what was seen the last 2 years, but far below the 18,000 seen in 2012 and 49,000 in 2010.
Habitat conditions along completed transect were very good. Water levels in coastal marsh was a bit below average in most locations but still excellent for foraging dabbling ducks, especially teal. Cracked wetland soil was evident through the water in some locations indicating recent rainfall had increased available habitat. Submerged aquatic vegetation was evident in nearly all marsh locations and growth was outstanding in many areas. Water in the agricultural habitats was about average with most provided via managed water, but recent rainfall was expected to increase shallow-flooded habitat.