GDW—good duck weather; BW—bluebird weather; S—snow; R—rain; F—freeze-up; T—temperature; SF—spotty flight; FF—fair flight; GF—good flight; EF—excellent flight; PG—poor gunning; FG—fair gunning; GG—good gunning; EG—excellent gunning; OP—outlook poor; OF—outlook fair; OG—outlook good; OVG—outlook very good; SO—season opens (or opened); SC—season closes (or closed)
This is an article from the Dec. 10, 1956 issue
TEXAS: Nearly 100,000 waterfowl, mainly pintail, blue geese and snow geese, now in Eagle Lake-Lissie Prairie region of Colorado and Wharton counties, with flight almost completed. Usual heavy concentrations of white fronted geese reported, but blues and snows are crowding them out of feed and water, suggesting need for more lenient limits on these species. BW, but FG and OVG. GF of mallards from Galveston to La Vaca Bay and of pintails from Galveston to Corpus Christi, with GG and OVG. More than 100,000 scaup estimated in huge rafts in Galveston Bay.
CALIFORNIA: After lull at Tule Lake FG as new flights of pintails and mallards drop in. GF of pintails and widgeon arriving in Imperial Valley and gunners are averaging 3 to 4. Estimated 10,000 snow geese and sprinkling of honkers now in Salton Sea region, and Canadas are beginning to move into lower Colorado River sand bars and grain fields. FF of pintails reported at San Joaquin Valley Clubs, and OG when storms move new birds down.
WASHINGTON: BW in most areas with SF on west side and OP until weather improves. At Yakima Valley EG for mallards and OVG; heavy fogs have forced duck to fly so low on way to water, gunners in right spots are having field days. "One morning fog was so low," says spy, "ducks were walking."
OREGON: GF of western Canada geese now in Corvallis area but PG last week on account of BW. Geese are unusually spooky, and only skillfully rigged decoys will bring birds in. Heavy winds have blown most geese off of upper Columbia River resting areas and they are heading south. In Willamette Valley area freezing weather and little water forcing spasmodic flights to continue south or swing toward open water in coastal areas. Unless change in weather brings rain, main flight may go right on through.
MISSISSIPPI: SI spy estimates only about 50,000 ducks in state at present, thinks delayed migration may be due to lack of water.
MASSACHUSETTS: PG through entire state as good storm is needed to get birds moving. 19,000 waterfowl now at Plum Island Refuge including 1,000 geese and 14,000 blacks, and first heavy weather will start main migration. Best gunning on north shore near Plum Island.
MAINE: EG along coastal areas. Merrymeeting Bay alive with big redleg blacks southbound from Canada, and OVG through December 13, but wear woollies, warns agent.
NORTH DAKOTA: Potholes frozen and birds are well scattered. About 20,000 mallards on the Missouri River near Garrison Dam 20 miles upstream. About 5,000 mallards on river near Washburn. At Long Lake gunners are setting out stool on ice with some success.
SOUTH DAKOTA: Weather is cold but clear. Storm would move estimated 450,000 ducks, mainly mallards, southward along the Missouri River. Meanwhile best bet is corn fields along the Missouri.
KANSAS: Best reports last week were from Cimarron River Valley especially Seward County with estimated 30,000 ducks, mainly redheads and smaller species, providing GG. GG at Kanopolis Federal Reservoir and at Leavenworth County State Lake, but main flight of mallards hasn't arrived yet.
MARYLAND: Redheads and canvasbacks plentiful on Susquehanna River flats from Stump Island to southeasterly end of the Battery. Big and Little Choptank River parties enjoying EG for redheads, cans and honkers. Kent Island still jammed with Canada geese despite heavy gunning pressure.