Skip to main content

Disease Decimating California Waterfowl

Editor's note: This article was provided by the Western Outdoor News.

Lack of water, and hence, lack of flooded marshland, has crowded an estimated 2 million ducks and geese into California's Tulelake/Klamath Basin. The result is widespread avian cholera, killing an estimated 5,000-10,000 ducks and geese thus far. Roughly three-quarters of the die-off is snow and Ross' geese, with an estimated 1,000 pintails.

"This is a real disaster," said retired hunting guide Jay Welch, who lives near Tulelake. "The refuge ponds have, for the most part, dried up, and that puts the birds in tight quarters, and to make things worse, we are having a much higher than normal return of birds from the south."


According to Ron Cole, manager of the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges Complex, limited water deliveries to the refuges, combined with a very large waterfowl migration heading back north, has resulted in a higher than usual cholera outbreak.


It's the worst outbreak of avian cholera in years, according to staff at the refuge. With the help of Cal-Ore Waterfowl and Wetlands Council (COWWC), they have picked up approximately 3,500 dead birds so far. Further losses can only be mitigated by picking up dead and diseased birds as soon as possible, or by increasing the amount of flooded land so the birds can disperse.mEven with the increased water being sent and the elevated efforts to pick up dead birds, total die-off could reach 15,000 birds.




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.
Learn

Using Goose Floaters for Duck Hunting

Relentlessly adaptive birds are leery of mid-field these days, but you can still take your game to the next 
level with creative use of layout blinds.
Gear

Score More Birds in a Layout Blind

Publisher Laden Force speaks with Stevie Rogers at the Rogers Sporting Goods Annual Waterfowl Weekend.
Learn

Interview with Stevie Rogers from Rogers Sporting Goods

Editor-in-Chief Skip Knowles is with Beth Shimanski from Savage Arms to get a look at this reliable, soft kicking shotgun.
Gear

Savage Renegauge Shotgun: Shotgun Review

An affordable, inertia-operated shotgun that is clean, smooth, and ready for round after round of high volume shooting.
Gear

Weatherby Element Tungsten Synthetic Shotgun: Video Review

Skip Knowles is with Christian Hogg to chat about Fiocchi's Ammo and their plans for the future.
Gear

Fiocchi Waterfowl Loads

Associate Editor Nathan Ratchford talks to Joel Hodgdon about some exciting news from Remington.
Gear

Remington Big Green Ammo is Back in the Duck Blind

A behind the curtain look at the new panel blind from Rig'Em Right Outdoors.
Gear

Rig'Em Right Panel Blind

A sneak peek at the upcoming waterfowl camouflage from Nomad Outdoor.
Gear

Nomad Outdoor Waterfowl

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

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest 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