Ducks Unlimited made several news appearances this week in the Sacramento market, specifically regarding the California drought and its potential effects on rice farmers and ducks this fall.
The first story appeared on KCRA 3, with Western Region Director Mark Biddlecomb speaking about the lack of available food late in the winter
“We’re going to run out of food for these ducks somewhere in mid-December,” said Mark Biddlecomb with Ducks Unlimited , a waterfowl and wetlands conservation group.
The birds get 60 percent of their food from winter-flooded fields, biologists said. This year, their habitat is down 20 percent in the Sacramento Valley.
“I don’t think that we’ll have huge die-offs,” Biddlecomb said. “We could have some disease outbreaks.”
The Marysville Appeal-Democrat followed up with a similar piece, detailing how the lack of water may affect hunters in Northern California this season
The strange confluence of record bird migration numbers heading to California this fall and the persistent drought drying out winter habitat has presented duck hunters with a conundrum — It will be a great season for duck hunting, if they can find a place to hunt that has water.
“It’s the oddest circumstances I’ve seen as long as I’ve been hunting,” said Pat Kittles, owner of Kittles Outdoor and Sports in Colusa.