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Waterfowl Report

by Ed Godfrey Published: January 9, 2014
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A pair of mallard ducks take flight at Oklahoma City Zoo lake in Oklahoma City. Photo By Steve Gooch, The Oklahoman
A pair of mallard ducks take flight at Oklahoma City Zoo lake in Oklahoma City. Photo By Steve Gooch, The Oklahoman
Waterfowl Report for January 8, 2014 

Duck season is currently open statewide. For zone maps and complete waterfowl hunting regulations log on to wildlifedepartment.com.

 NORTHWEST
Canton – Zone 1: Water level is 12.9 feet below normal. Habitat conditions are poor at the current lake level. Winter wheat around the lake is in fair condition. Row crops have been harvested and are in good condition. Duck numbers are fair. Goose numbers are low. Hunter activity is moderate and success is low. The northwest portion of the lake is dry, and the only usable boat ramp is at the Canadian Campground day use area.

Fort Supply- Zone 1: Water level is .41 feet above normal. Habitat conditions are poor. Local winter wheat is in poor to fair condition. Duck numbers are low and goose numbers are low. Hunter activity is low due to ice on the lake. Hunter success is low. Duck movement has been low over the past week, goose numbers have increased some. The lake and all sloughs are currently frozen. All boat ramps are inaccessible due to ice.

SOUTHWEST

Ft. Cobb – Zone 2: Water level is 5.76 feet below normal. Habitat conditions poor due to the lake level. Local winter wheat is in fair condition and peanut, soybean and milo harvest is winding down. Duck numbers are high. Goose numbers are high. Hunter activity is high and success is fair. Walnut Slough WDU is 5% full.
Hackberry – Zone 2: Hackberry Flat reservoir and wetland units are dry. Habitat conditions are POOR. Some native vegetation is present in wetland units. No ducks or geese are present. . No report on hunter activity or success.
Mtn. Park – Zone 2: Water level is 13.23 feet below normal. Habitat conditions are poor due to lake level. Winter wheat is planted on WMA in most fields and is in fair conditions. Duck and goose numbers are low. Hunter activity is low and success is fair. 7 of the 11 units are flooded on the WDU, the units are frozen at this time.

Waurika – Zone 2: Water level is 13.86 feet below normal. Habitat conditions are poor due to lake level. Winter wheat is in fair condition on WMA area fields. Duck numbers are fair and goose numbers are high. Hunter activity is low and success is fair. Wetland units are not flooded due to lack of rain.

NORTHEAST 

Copan – Zone 2: Water level is normal; however all water is frozen. Habitat conditions are good. Native plants on units are good; soybean fields on WMA are poor. Duck and goose numbers are low. Hunter activity is low and success is poor. There is plenty of vegetation to hold birds when shallow water opens up from frozen conditions. Birds are being seen on the main body of the lake.

Deep Fork NWR- Zone 2: Deep Fork NWR wetlands are currently at normal level, with adequate vegetation available for waterfowl. Low numbers of duck are being observed at Deep Fork NWR. Mallards and wood ducks are currently the most prevalent species on the refuge. For permits, regulations and information about hunting at the Deep Fork NWR individuals can pick up a hunting brochure at any of the Refuge parking lots, or the can contact the Refuge office at 918-652-0456.

Eufaula – Zone 2: Water level is normal. Habitat conditions are poor. Farming activity in the area is light. Duck numbers are fair. Goose numbers are low, with local resident birds present. Hunter activity is low to moderate and success is low. No millet was planted due to summer lake elevations. Native vegetation is very limited due to higher lake elevation through the summer. Some birds have moved in with the recent cold front.

Fort Gibson – Zone 2: Water level is 2.81 feet above normal. Habitat conditions are fair. Duck and goose numbers are low. Hunter activity is moderate and success is low.

Hulah – Zone 2: Water level is normal. Habitat conditions are good; however, all water is frozen. Native plants on units and soybean fields on WMA are being harvested. Duck and goose numbers are low. Hunter activity is low and success is low. There is plenty of vegetation to hold birds when shallow water opens up from frozen conditions. Birds are being seen on the main body of the lake.

Kaw – Zone 2: Water level is 2 feet above normal. Habitat conditions poor; no millet was planted due to late season flooding and very little native forage is present. Duck numbers are very LOW, very few waterfowl on the WMA. Goose numbers are low. Hunter activity is low and success is fair on ducks and low on geese. All ponds are frozen, as well as the Arkansas River, Beaver Creek and the Arkansas River arm of Kaw Lake. Open water is present down stream of Bear Creek Boat Ramp and remains open to the dam.

Keystone – Zone 2: Water level is .5 feet below normal. On a scale 1-10 habitat conditions are a 3. Almost all sloughs are holding water in the area, however due to recent cold front these waters are currently frozen. Cottonwood WDU is 50% full with good habitat conditions on the northern most part of the unit; however, with the recent cold front the water is frozen. Duck and goose numbers are low. A few birds are using crop fields on the Arkansas arm of the lake. Hunter activity and success is low.

Oologah – Zone 2: Water level is 0.7 feet above normal. Habitat conditions are good. Duck numbers are low and goose numbers are low. Hunter activity and success is low.

More birds are moving in with each passing cold front. Most ponds and some coves on the lake are frozen.

Sooner – Zone 2: Water level is normal. Habitat conditions on lake are fair. Winter wheat around the area is looking good this year. Duck numbers are good, mostly mallards. Goose numbers are fair. Hunter activity is good during the week and high on weekend. Hunter success is low. Ponds are iced up so waterfowl are concentrating on rivers and lakes, especially where there is good agriculture base as food source.

Webbers Falls – Zone 2: Water level is 2.68 feet above normal. Habitat conditions are good with smartweed, barnyard grass, bidens, cut soybeans, corn, milo and winter wheat in the area. Duck and goose numbers are low. Hunter activity is low and success is moderate.

SOUTHEAST

Red Slough – Zone 2: Some units are full, most have huntable water. Habitat conditions are good. Duck numbers are good and goose number are low. No report on hunter activity or success.

Texoma – Zone 2: Water level is 7 feet below normal. Habitat conditions are poor at current lake level. The lake would have to rise 4 feet to get into good habitat. Duck and goose numbers are very low. No report on hunter activity or success. Birds are not stopping due to poor habitat conditions.

Wister – Zone 2: Water level is normal. Habitat conditions are poor. Duck numbers are fair and goose numbers are low. Hunter activity is very high and success is low. Most coves and all WDU are frozen.


by Ed Godfrey
Reporter Sr.
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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