Nebraska Game and Parks (NGP) is reporting good wetland conditions across the state.
The positive report comes as hunters are scoping out ducks and other waterfowl throughout Nebraska.
“I think we’re a little better than normal right now,” Ted LaGrange, NGP wetlands program manager, tells Nebraska Radio Network. “We had some nice rains from a wetlands habitat standpoint that occurred in late September into early October.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also helps manage the state’s wetlands.
LaGrange says the rains have helped keep pumping water into wetlands to a minimum, which saves both financial and water resources.
“We only pump when we feel we need to, to put adequate habitat out there for both, waterfowl and water birds, and hunters to be able to use,” he explains.
Duck and waterfowl hunters are benefiting from the good wetland conditions.
“The waterfowl season has been going very well,” LaGrange says. “A good number of birds and with the good conditions, we hopefully will be holding some birds through the fall migration, and hopefully hold them until those wetlands freeze up or we get a big snow.”
Hunting permits and stamps cover the cost of wetland management in Nebraska.
Officials are looking for better ways to manage the state’s wetlands for wildlife, hunters, and others.
LaGrange says being efficient with limited resources is key, and working with private landowners has been successful.
“Some of those landowners have that interest in wildlife observation and hunting,” he says. “Others just have an interest in getting those wetlands back in place for the other benefits that those wetlands can provide.”
LaGrange says Game and Parks offers technical assistance to landowners on wetlands conservation and restoration.
The Commission also offers financial assistance through cost-sharing programs.
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:40]