Wood Duck Takes Top Bill at the Minnesota Waterfowl Symposium
By Valerie Rose Redmond
Regional Director Tom Melius welcomed a host of attendees to the 16th annual Minnesota Waterfowl Symposium, on February 2, at the Mall of America Ramada in Bloomington, Minn.
The event was sponsored in part by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in partnership with the Minnesota Waterfowl Association and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
After thanking the organizers, greeting dignitaries and acknowledging Hall of Fame honorees, Melius reminded the attendees of the Service’s Federal Duck Stamp Program and its significant contribution as a vital wetland conservation tool.
The wood duck themed conference prompted Melius to highlight the wood duck’s significance to the region and hunters.
“Consistently in the top three for ducks harvested in Minnesota each year,” he said, “wood ducks have inspired many conservation efforts throughout the state.”
In addition to the wood duck seminars, participants gleaned important information about Pelican Lake, Sandhill Crane Breeding Surveys, telemetry tracking of Sandhill cranes, and decoy history.
Attendees also enjoyed cooking demonstrations, information booths, impromptu chats with the speakers, and the Minnesota Decoy Collector’s Association Show. Afterwards, questions on hunting regulations, wood ducks and other waterfowl were answered by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner, Tom Landwehr.
The evening offered attendees the opportunity to attend the 4th Annual Minnesota Waterfowl Hall of Fame Banquet. The Minnesota Waterfowl Hall of Fame honors individuals for years of dedicated service to the waterfowl conservation cause. This year’s honorees included two Service biologists: Grady Mann and Tony Rondeau.