Wildlife biologists counted 5,044 ducks and 6,147 Canada geese during the annual mid-winter waterfowl survey in early January, according to Steve Wilson, Waterfowl Biologist for the Wildlife Resources Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.
The 10-year average has been artificially high since the record numbers in 2001. Now that the 2001 numbers are no longer included in the average, the percent above average figures for 2011 are more significant. The increase was not unexpected due to the amount of snow and cold weather that occurred in December.
Canada geese, mallards and black ducks were the most commonly observed species in the 2011 survey. Other waterfowl observed included canvasback, scaup, ring-necked duck, redhead, bufflehead, wood duck, mergansers and snow geese. Thirteen bald eagles, two golden eagles and eleven unidentified eagles were also observed.
The survey was conducted on January 5, 6, and 7, 2011, and included portions of the Kanawha, Ohio, Shenandoah and New rivers as well as Tygart and Bluestone lakes.
source: West Virginia Division of Natural Resources