In case you missed it last week, the Bureau of Reclamation recently announced that it will be releasing an additional 50,000 acres of water to California rice farmers over the next month, which is great news for waterfowl in the state. This latest release of water, combined with recent storms throughout the state, is helping the overall outlook for ducks over the winter. However, as is always the case, more rain is still needed.
Ducks Unlimited’s Western Region Director of Operations, Mark Biddlecomb, recently spoke to the Marysville Appeal-Democrat on the topic.
Combined with similar releases on the Feather River, there should be about 100,000 new acres of bird habitat across the Sacramento Valley, said Mark Biddlecomb, executive director of the western region of Ducks Unlimited.
“This is good news,” Biddlecomb said. “It’s shaping up to be better than we expected.”
But while the diversions will help in the early winter, the valley still needs rain to completely alleviate concerns of disease and a lack of food supply, Biddlecomb said.
“It doesn’t solve the issues, but we’re still very grateful,” Biddlecomb said. “One thing that has come out of this drought is an awareness of what waterfowl need, and the Bureau is clearly taking those needs into consideration.”