Wellington Both Barrels Apr 2017

Best season in years!

One of the wettest summers many in the lower North Island can remember may have made for miserable holidaying but it has been a boon for mallard ducks.

Right: Setting decoys in readiness for Opening Weekend. 

Large broods of nearly fledged ducklings observed in paddocks over spring was commonplace; summer saw staff busy responding to farmers’ requests to move aggregations of birds off newly-planted crops and grass.

But whereas such requests usually involve mainly paradise ducks, this year numbers of mallards have also been an issue.

Our aerial trend counts which have just been completed prior to publishing this newsletter also show significantly more birds across nearly all transects lines flown – almost two and half times what we had last year and the highest counts in many years.

This all bodes well for what we’re predicting is going to the best season for many years. All we need now is for the foul weather to continue into the season and certainly blow up on Opening Day…

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 Fish & Game magazine is online - click here.


Great water fowling and upland game hunting articles, along with back issues in full ‘flip-book’ format, are available on the Fish & Game Online website.

Get those bands in…

If you harvest banded birds this season please ensure that you get the details to us. You can keep the band if you wish, all we’re after is the information about the bird you shot.

We use the banding data to help us determine productivity, population sizes, movement and survival rates for both adults and juveniles of both sexes.

Returning this band info means you’re doing your bit towards our mallard research – it will make for better data going into Fish & Game’s management of duck populations, a win for everyone.   

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