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Lake life

Duck season “average” so far

Duck season started off with a bang in Louisiana this year. LITERALLY. From the Arkansas state line all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, there seemed to be plenty of ducks and lots of limits. Since then, it has cooled off a bit – and I don’t mean just the weather.

Nic Young, Amos Merritt and friends got these ducks at Wham Brake recently

But, there are still plenty of ducks. In north Louisiana, it’s the same as most years — where there is water, there are ducks. Most of the top areas around here are still producing some limits, but hunters are having to work a little harder. One problem is that the ducks here now have been for weeks. And they are already getting a bit blind and decoy shy.  In South Louisiana, hunting was great the first week, and now hunters there are having the same problem.

We got with Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Waterfowl Program Manager Larry Reynolds for an update yesterday:

“Probably about average,” he said when talking about duck hunting success statewide. “The opening weekend on the coast was very good, but it has slowed to the point that many hunters are complaining.  Southeast Louisiana habitats were degraded by Hurricane Isaac and are seeing fewer ducks, especially fewer than they have seen over the past 2 years.  SW Louisiana hunting has remained good, but spottier than in the past couple of years.  Catahoula Lake hunting success was reduced over the opening weekend compared to recent past.  Reports I’ve received from NW and NE Louisiana have generally been average to good, but we could use more water in NE Louisiana.  In all, I’d say it’s about average.”

Reynolds said Southwest Louisiana is holding the largest number of ducks.  Aerial survey estimated nearly 2/3 of the ducks in the surveyed areas from Catahoula south where in that region of the state.  However, NW and NE Louisiana were not surveyed prior to the opening weekend, and NE was not surveyed at all because of aircraft and observer availability.

Reynolds feels like the best may be yet to come, depending, of course, on available water and colder weather, both necessary for good hunting.

“The November survey did not show large numbers of birds in the state, so we expect further migrations which should improve hunting success.  Habitat conditions in Northeast Louisiana need water, and those in Southeast will continue to be below that of the last couple of years.  So the outlook for the rest of the season is about average.”


IMPORTANT NOTE ( SEE YESTERDAY’S POST FOR MORE DETAILS Nov. 29, 2012)– The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would like to remind anglers that the daily creel limit for crappie in D’Arbonne Lake is now 25, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY.


One thought on “Duck season “average” so far

  1. Just wanted to see if ya’ll had noticed signs being made for ramps (probably get trashed) BUT TRYING TO NOTIFY ALL. SENT TO ALL PAPERS AND TV’S THANKS FOR PASSING THE WORD

    Posted by STEVE CAGLE | November 30, 2012, 12:364:35 pm

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