LINCOLN – The conditions of wetlands across the state is varied, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
On Sept. 1, Game and Parks released a report on the status of Rainwater Basin wetlands, as well as pumping plans. While conditions were good in some areas, they were dry in others.
“Conditions are generally good throughout much of the Sandhills and along the Platte River,” said Ted LaGrange, wetland program manager for the Commission. “However, the wetland water conditions across much of the Rainwater Basin are not good and many are dry.
“Hunters need to keep in mind that conditions can change quickly if we get a significant rain event and they should scout areas ahead of time,” LaGrange said. “We are pumping some wetlands ahead of the teal season, and likely will do more extensive pumping, if needed, for the regular duck season.”
The teal season is Sept. 3 – 11 in the High Plains Zone and Sept. 3 – 18 in the Low Plains Zone. Regular duck seasons open in October.
A list of wildlife management areas (WMA) and waterfowl production areas (WPA) in the Rainwater Basin to be pumped, including county is as follows: Bluebill, Marsh Hawk, Sandpiper and Sora WMAs, Fillmore; Deep Well and Pintail WMAs, Hamilton; Funk WPA and Sacramento-Wilcox WMA, Phelps; Shypoke and Straightwater WMAs, Seward; Father Hupp and Prairie Marsh WMAs, Thayer; and Kirkpatrick Basin North WMA, York.
Outside of the Rainwater Basin, the following WMAs will be pumped: Peru Bottoms and Langdon Bend, Nemaha; Elk Point Bend, Dixon; and Wilkinson WMA, Platte.
In addition to providing places to hunt waterfowl, wetlands are pumped to provide habitat for migrating waterfowl and other water birds, to provide areas for people to observe wildlife, and to spread out the distribution of migrating birds to reduce the possibility of disease outbreaks.
The wetland condition and pumping plans information will be updated weekly throughout the duck season. View the report at OutdoorNebraska.gov/waterfowlchecklist. Visit OutdoorNebraska.org for more information on waterfowl hunting and to purchase permits and stamps.