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Skip Navigation LinksDNREC : Division of Fish & Wildlife : Hunting

 
Waterfowl Surveys in Delaware

 

For almost 40 years, the Division of Fish and Wildlife has conducted four waterfowl surveys annually to measure long-term trends in duck and goose populations. These surveys are carried out via a small plane with a pilot and biologist aboard, taking similar routes and using the same techniques each time.Some of the thousands of snow geese that migrate annually now to eastern Kent County. Photo courtesy of Joey Melvin. Flights are usually made in mid-October, mid-November, mid-December and the second week in January, subject to weather and mechanical delays. The January flight is part of a coast-wide effort to survey waterfowl throughout the Atlantic Flyway at approximately the same time. The state surveys cover the primary waterfowl habitat in Delaware, approximately the eastern half of the state, and are divided into 11 zones.

Not all ducks and geese can be seen equally well from a plane. The surveys give fairly accurate information about geese, but duck populations such wood ducks and sea ducks are almost impossible to count.

The important feature of these counts is that they augur for long-term trends that are useful to measure changes in waterfowl management strategies and the environment. In most cases no single survey count is especially important in itself, but cumulative counts have revealed important changes over the years. (Photo courtesy of Joey Melvin)

For example, the state's waterfowl surveys detected the decline in the migrant population of Canada geese, the dwindling use by ducks of the Christiana marshes after Interstate 95 was constructed, and recent increases in ducks using the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge area after the refuge accomplished phragmites and water control. Winter counts are used as a measure of black duck abundance and other population changes. Although imperfect, surveys are a useful tool for waterfowl manager.

Waterfowl counts are summarized within the following zones:

Zone 1 - (Width of the State) Pennsylvania Line to the Delaware Memorial Bridge.
Zone 2 - (Width of the State) Delaware Memorial Bridge to the C&D Canal.
Zone 3 - (Width of the State) C&D Canal to a Line from Liston Point to Kenton.
Zone 4 - (Width of the State) Liston Point to Route 6 (Smyrna).
Zone 5 - (Width of the State) Route 6 to Route 8 Port Mahon.
Zone 6 - (East of 113) Route 8 to Big Stone Beach.
Zone 7 - (East of Route 1) Big Stone Beach to Broadkill River.
Zone 8 - (East of Route 1) Broadkill River to Bend in Lewis Rehoboth Canal South of Gordon's Pond.
Zone 9 - South of Gordon's Pond and All of Rehoboth Bay.
Zone 10 - All Indian River Bay West to Millsboro and South to Salt Pond.
Zone 11 - Salt Pond South to Maryland Line and West to Route 17.

Historical Waterfowl Survey Data 
          Season Selection Index

2012-2013 Hunting Season 

Late January 2013 Survey

Mid January 2013 Survey

 

2011-2012 Hunting Season

Late January 2012 Survey

Early January 2012 Survey

Late December 2011 Survey 

Early December 2011 Survey

Late November 2011 Survey

Late October 2011 Survey

Early October 2011 Survey

 

2010-2011 Hunting Season

January 2011 Survey

December 2010 Survey

November 2010 Survey

October 2010 Survey
 

2009-2010 Hunting Season

January 2010 Survey

December 2009 Survey
November 2009 Survey

October 2009 Survey

 

2008-2009 Hunting Season
January 2009 Survey

December 2008 Survey
November 2008 Survey
October 2008 Survey

 

2007-2008 Hunting Season

January 2008 Survey

December 2007 Survey
November 2007 Survey
October 2007 Survey

 

2006-2007 Hunting Season

January 2007 Survey
December 2006 Survey
November 2006 Survey

October 2006 Survey

 

 2005-2006 Hunting Season
January 2006 Survey
December 2005 Survey
November 2005 Survey
October 2005 Survey

 

 2004-2005 Hunting Season
December 2004 Survey
November 2004 Survey
October 2004 Survey

2003-2004 Hunting Season
January 2004 Survey
December 2003 Survey
November 2003 Survey

October 2003 Survey
 

2002-2003 Hunting Season
January 2003 Survey
December 2002 Survey
November 2002 Survey
October 2002 Survey

 

2001-2002 Hunting Season

January 2002 Survey
December 2001 Survey

November 2001 Survey

October 2001 Survey

 

2000-2001 Hunting Season
January 2001 Survey

December 2000 Survey

November 2000 Survey

October 2000 Survey

 

1999-2000 Hunting Season
 January 2000 Survey

December 1999 Survey

November 1999 Survey

October 1999 Survey

 

 

 

1998-1999 Hunting Season

January 1999 Survey

December 1998 Survey

November 1998 Survey

October 1998 Survey

 

1997-1998 Hunting Season

January 1998 Survey

December 1997 Survey

November 1997 Survey

October 1997 Survey

 

1996-1997 Hunting Season

January 1997 Survey

December 1996 Survey

November 1996 Survey

October 1996 Survey  

 

1995-1996 Hunting Season

January 1996 Survey

December 1995 Survey

 November 1995 Survey

October 1995 Survey

 

1994-1995 Hunting Season

January 1995 Survey

December 1994 Survey

November 1994 Survey

October 1994 Survey

 

1993-1994 Hunting Season

January 1994 Survey

December 1993 Survey

November 1993 Survey

October 1993 Survey

 

1992-1993 Hunting Season

January 1993 Survey

December 1992 Survey

November 1992 Survey

October 1992 Survey

 

1991-1992 Hunting Season

January 1992 Survey

December 1991 Survey

November 1991 Survey

October 1991 Survey

 

1990-1991 Hunting Season

January 1991 Survey

December 1990 Survey

November 1990 Survey

October 1990 Survey

 

1989-1990 Hunting Season

January 1990 Survey

December 1989 Survey

November 1989 Survey

October 1989 Survey

 

1988-1989 Hunting Season

 January 1989 Survey

December 1988 Survey

November 1988 Survey

October 1988 Survey

 

1987-1988 Hunting Season

January 1988 Survey

December 1987 Survey

November 1987 Survey

October 1987 Survey

 

1986-1987 Hunting Season

January 1987 Survey

December 1986 Survey

November 1986 Survey

October 1986 Survey

   

1985-1986 Hunting Season

January 1986 Survey

December 1985 Survey

November 1985 Survey

October 1985 Survey

 

 

 

1984-1985 Hunting Season

January 1985 Survey

December 1984 Survey

November 1984 Survey

October 1984 Survey


1983-1984 Hunting Season

January 1984 Survey

December 1983 Survey

November 1983 Survey

October 1983 Survey

 

1982-1983 Hunting Season

January 1983 Survey

December 1982 Survey

November 1982 Survey

October 1982 Survey

 

1981-1982 Hunting Season

January 1982 Survey

December 1981 Survey

November 1981 Survey

October 1981 Survey

 

1980-1981 Hunting Season

January 1981 Survey

December 1980 Survey

November 1980 Survey

October 1980 Survey

 

1979-1980 Hunting Season

January 1980 Survey

December 1979 Survey

November 1979 Survey

October 1979 Survey

 

1978-1979 Hunting Season

January 1979 Survey

December 1978 Survey

November 1978 Survey

October 1978 Survey

 

1977-1978 Hunting Season

January 1978 Survey

December 1977 Survey

November 1977 Survey

October 1977 Survey

 

1976-1977 Hunting Season

January 1977 Survey

December 1976 Survey

November 1976 Survey

October 1976 Survey

 

1975-1976 Hunting Season

January 1976 Survey

December 1975 Survey

November 1975 Survey

October 1975 Survey

 

1974-1975 Hunting Season

January 1975 (Not available)

December 1974 Survey

November 1974 Survey

October 1974 Survey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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