Skip to main content

The 2022 California Waterfowl Breeding Population Survey Is Complete...Duck Numbers Are Down.

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife's waterfowl breeding population survey shows ducks in decline.

The 2022 California Waterfowl Breeding Population Survey Is Complete...Duck Numbers Are Down.

The resulting data indicate the overall number of breeding ducks has decreased by 19 percent, including mallards that are the most abundant duck in the survey. (Photo By: Thorsten Spoerlein-Shutterstock.com)

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has completed its 2022 waterfowl breeding population survey. The resulting data indicate the overall number of breeding ducks has decreased by 19 percent, including mallards that are the most abundant duck in the survey.

“Surveys indicated a 25 percent decrease in mallard abundance,” said CDFW’s Waterfowl Program Biologist Melanie Weaver. “Habitat conditions are poor in both northeastern California and the Central Valley, so below-average production for most waterfowl species is expected.”

The full Breeding Population Survey Report indicates the total number of ducks (all species combined) decreased from 470,450 in 2019 (the last year the survey was conducted) to 379,870 this year. This estimate is 30 percent below the long-term average. The estimated breeding population of mallards decreased from 239,830 in 2019 to 179,390 this year, which is below their long-term average. The decline is attributed to the ongoing drought and the loss of upland nesting habitat for ducks.

CDFW biologists and warden-pilots have conducted this survey annually using fixed-wing aircraft since 1948. The population estimates are for those areas where most of the waterfowl nesting occurs in California, including wetland and agricultural areas in northeastern California, throughout the Central Valley, the Suisun Marsh and some coastal valleys.

The majority of California’s wintering duck population originates from breeding areas surveyed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in Alaska and Canada, and these results should be available by August. CDFW survey information, along with similar data from other Pacific Flyway states, is used by the USFWS and the Pacific Flyway Council when setting hunting regulations for the Pacific Flyway states, including California.




Recommended


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Gear

Fiocchi's New Duck Busters

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Gear

Migration Strike

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Gear

Enhancing the Hunt: Skip Knowles and Tetra Hearing's Game-Changing Products

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Gear

The Goose Factory

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Gear

Heyday Outdoor - HydroFoam Diver Duck Decoys Review & Field Test

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Learn

Why You Suck at Shooting….and How to Fix Your Faults

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Gear

Remington Gun Club Cure Shotshells

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Gear

B&P Ammunition

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Gear

Browning Maxus 2 Wicked Wing

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Gear

Why You Should Be Using Confidence Decoys for Duck Hunting

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Learn

Exercise-Induced Heat-Related Illness

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Learn

Using Goose Floaters for Duck Hunting

Wildfowl Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Wildfowl App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Wildfowl stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Wildfowl subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now