ST. PAUL, Minn. — Despite a record late ice-out, spring waterfowl surveys show that Minnesota's breeding duck population has improved from last year.
The Department of Natural Resources estimates the state's breeding duck population at 683,000 compared with 469,000 last year. This year's estimate is 10 percent above the long-term average.
This year's Canada goose population is estimated at 250,000, considerably less than last year's 416,000. The DNR says cold temperatures and April snowfall combined with a late ice-out reduced nesting success. But DNR wildlife section chief Paul Telander says the goose population remains higher than managers want it to be.
So Minnesota will hold its first-ever August Canada goose season from Aug. 10-25 in a special zone in west-central Minnesota.
The DNR will announce this fall's waterfowl hunting regulations later this summer.