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Waterfowl Surveys

Swans, Staff, Shovler Every fall, millions of ducks and geese migrate south to warmer regions for food and habitat. On that long journey they need places to rest and eat. One of those places is Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge.

The Refuge manages approximately 214 acres of waterfowl impoundments. These impoundments provide the necessary food and habitat waterfowl need while migrating. Some of these impoundments are open to a draw hunt two days a week during Kentucky’s state waterfowl hunting season, while others serve the purpose of enhancing wildlife viewing opportunities.

During the fall and winter these areas are surveyed once every two weeks. Types of species seen using the impoundments along with an approximate number is recorded. 

We often get asked how we count our waterfowl. The easiest method for counting a large flocks of birds is to divide the flock into sections or units. Depending on the size of the flock, you can divide the flock into two or more units. Then, count the birds in one unit and multiply that by the number of units. For example, if you have divided the flock into 4 units, and count 10 ducks in a unit. Multiply 10 ducks X 4 units = 40 ducks. 


For more information on how waterfowl surveys are conducted click here. 






Winter 2013/2014 Waterfowl Survey Results 

Week of December 30th - Flood waters have receded and all units were able to be surveyed. During this survey the refuge totaled 537 ducks and 173 geese. Data sheet 

 Week of December 16th - Impoundments are at 50% compacity, and are approximately 60% frozen. During this survey 113 ducks were counted. Mallard Point was unable to be surveyed because the road was flooded. Data Sheet 

 Week of December 2nd - Impoundments are at 40%. Due to low temperatures, the impoundments are locked-up and the river is, and will remain, the the only open source of water until temperatures rise. Data Sheet 

Week of November 18th - The waterfowl impoundments are approximately 20% full at this time, but water levels are rising. During this survey 110 ducks were counted. Data Sheet 

Week of November 11th - The waterfowl impoundments are currently holding minimal levels of water. With rains expected in the next few days, the water levels are expected to rise and beginning next week pumps will also be used (in locations where available) to raise the water levels. Data Sheet 

Survey Data From Previous Years 











Page Photo Credits — Swans and Staff - aradomski/usfws
Last Updated: Jan 08, 2014
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