Nevada duck hunters may find fewer fowl this hunting season as the long summer drought takes a toll on much needed water in our county.

The lack of water has some traditional migratory stopovers completely dried up meaning that ducks will have to fly farther on their southbound trips.

“When Nevada has water we have good duck hunting,” said Chris Healy, spokesman for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. “We need water.”

Popular hunting areas such as Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge are 30 percent lower than normal but hunters in Mineral County can continue to see a decent habitat for ducks. Walker Lake, had about 25,000 ducks, according to a survey from Norm Saake, a retired Nevada Department of Wildlife waterfowl biologist who continues to do aerial surveys.

Saake went on to say that even during the drought, the lake remains a good spot for waterfowl because of the Widgeon grass which can help birds thrive.

“An area like Walker Lake is critically important in years like this,” he said. “It can sustain really large populations of birds.”
In Nevada, duck season starts as early as late September and continues into late January, but varies by location.