Waterfowl breeding conditions within the survey area depend largely on the timing of spring
phenology. Relatively normal spring phenology occurred in Interior and Coastal Alaska in 2011.
Overall, waterfowl production is expected to be good across the survey area compared to
previous long-term (1957-2010) production.
Total duck numbers were down 28% from the previous 10-year mean, but were only down 3%
from the long-term mean (1957–2010). Dabbler ducks decreased from the previous 10-year
mean by 33%, but were up 5% from the long-term mean. Divers and “miscellaneous” species
differed by -22% and -7% from their previous 10-year means, respectively, and differed from
their long-term means by -14% and -3%, respectively.
In 2011, the standardized waterfowl breeding pair survey in Alaska was conducted for the 55th
consecutive year. Data collected from this survey are the basis for management decisions at the
state, flyway, and continental level.
The survey was flown in the specially modified de Havilland Turbine Beaver (N754). This
aircraft has been used on this survey since 1977 and provides extremely high visibility and
reliability when compared to other fixed-wing aircraft. This is the last year that N754 will be
used for this survey and it will be replaced on future surveys by Quest Kodiak aircraft.