2012 is the year of the duck!
North Dakota's 2012 fall duck flight is expected to have twice as many birds as last year.
Mike Johnson, game management section leader for the State Game and Fish Department, said the fall flight estimate is a combination of the breeding duck survey and the brood survey.
Results from the breeding duck survey in May indicated the duck index was up 16 percent from 2011 and exceeded the long-term average by 112 percent.
May water conditions were down 57 percent from 2011 and 6 percent from the long-term average.
The mid-July waterfowl production survey revealed the duck brood index was up 110 percent from 2011 and 155 percent above the long-term average. Average brood size was 6.9 ducklings, down 0.8 from last year. The long‑term average is 7.1 ducklings per brood.
The water index in mid-July was down 48 percent from last year, but still 10 percent above the long-term average.
The index does not count every water body or duckling in the state. Instead, representative transects across the state are sampled each year. Over time, survey results provide biologists with trend information that allows annual comparisons of waterfowl production in the state.