BISMARCK, N.D. — The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual midwinter waterfowl survey indicates about 135,000 Canada geese in the state.
That’s down from the record 222,890 in 2016, but up sharply from 26,400 in January 2017.
Migratory game bird biologist Andy Dinges says heavy snowfall last winter reduced access to waste grain and made wintering conditions “highly unfavorable.”
Dinges says this year’s count likely would have been higher if not for bitterly cold weather in late December that pushed birds south.
An estimated 110,800 Canada geese were observed on the Missouri River, and another 24,000 were scattered on Nelson Lake in Oliver County. No waterfowl were recorded on Lake Sakakawea, which had frozen over before the survey.
In addition, 16,400 mallard ducks were tallied statewide, most of them on Nelson Lake.