The landmark North American Waterfowl Management Plan has been renewed and updated by the federal government to improve a cooperative, continent-wide effort to restore wetlands and waterfowl populations.
Initiated in 1986, NAWMP was updated in 1994 and 1998 and now includes the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Its trademark projects are local and regional joint ventures, now numbering 17 in all, with state agencies and private partners such as Ducks Unlimited.
One of NAWMP's flagship joint ventures, focusing on restoration of the black duck, resulted in the development of the 2,000-plus-acre Pickerel Creek State Wildlife Area on Sandusky Bay in northwest Ohio.
The long-term NAWMP goal is to rebuild and maintain populations of wetlands-associated wildlife to levels seen in the 1970s. The plan addresses waterfowl and other wetlands wildlife needs from breeding grounds to wintering grounds.
This is good news for Ohio hunters, who are looking forward to the opening of the North Zone duck and goose hunting seasons on Saturday.
A detailed summary of the season dates and bag limits, and a forecast of prospects for the first day in the duck blind, is to be printed here Thursday.
Sunday was a record day for turkey vulture migration at Lake Erie Metropark and Pointe Mouillee State Game Area, two raptor-watch migration sites northeast of Monroe, Mich., staffed by Southeastern Michigan Raptor Research.
A total of 12,131 vultures were counted by SMRR watchers, well surpassing the prior one-day passage of 8,988 on Oct. 12, 2003. Reporter Calvin Brennan said the passage of more than 3,000 vultures in just two hours was particularly impressive.
Brennan also reported the best movements of red-tailed hawks, 463, and Cooper's hawks, 49, so far this season, as well as the first rough-legged hawk. In all 12,826 birds of prey in 12 species were noted on the backside of a cold front.
At the Holiday Beach Migration Observatory, across the Detroit River on the Ontario side of northwest Lake Erie, another 1,390 vultures were noted among 1,716 raptors for the day, said reporter Bob Hall-Brooks.
SMRR and HBMO maintain hawk watches from Sept. 1 through Nov. 30. Daily updates can be seen by visiting their Web sites, www.smrr.net and www.hbmo.org.
Aside from birds of prey, Hall-Brooks noted a high of 74,410 blue jays passing over HBMO Sunday, with red-winged blackbirds, cowbirds and grackles "too numerous to count."
A Leopold Education Workshop is set for Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Sportsmen's Migratory Bird Center at Magee Marsh State Wildlife Area.
The workshop is sponsored by Pheasants Forever in cooperation with the Ohio Division of Wildlife and Lucas Soil and Water Conservation District. It is based on the writings and ethics of famed conservationist Aldo Leopold, the father of modern ecology and wildlife management. Contact Mary Warren at Magee to register, 419-898-0960, extension 31.
Today through Thursday: Toledo Trap and Skeet Club, 2-9 p.m. daily, 3150 State Rt. 295, Berkey; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; call the club, 419-829-5101.
Tonight: Public trapshoot, 6-10 p.m., Dundee Sportsmen's Club, 2300 Plank Rd., Dundee, Mich., repeats Thursday 9 a.m.-noon and Sunday noon-6 p.m.; call the club 734-529-3581.
Tomorrow: Program on backyard composting, 7 p.m., Wood County Park District, 18729 Mercer Rd., Bowling Green, call the parks, 419-353-1897; also, Friday, volunteers for habitat-improvement work session, 5:30 p.m., park headquarters, call to register; also, Saturday, volunteer brush clearing, 10 a.m., Baldwin Woods, call the parks.
Tomorrow: 250-yard centerfire rfle shoot, 5:30 p.m., Sandusky County Sportsmen's Club, State Rt. 600 east of Gibsonburg; Thursday, trapshoot, 6 p.m.; also, Saturday, CMP shoot, call Bob Caswall, 419-862-2861.
Tomorrow: Prairie and wildflower seed harvest, 4 p.m., Secor Metropark, Nature Photography Center; call the Metroparks for reservations, 419-535-3057, extension 101; also Friday, naturalist volunteer walk training, 9:30 a.m., Side Cut Metropark, Riverview Area, call extension 103 to register, repeats Saturday 1 p.m.; also, Friday through Oct. 31, NASA moon program, Oak Openings Preserve, Buehner Center, educators and groups call extension 101 for reservations; also, fall color nature photography, 9 a.m., Oak Openings, Buehner Center, call to register 419-829-6866; also, autumn hiking, 9 a.m., Secor Metropark, Walnut Grove picnic shelter, presentation and hike at 10:30 a.m.; also, canal boat rides, 10 and 11:30 a.m., Providence Metropark, Kimble's Landing; call for reservations 419-832-6006; also, Sunday, volunteers to collect native plant seeds, 2 p.m., Wildwood Preserve Metropark, Window on Wildlife, call extension 101 to register.
Tomorrow: Bird count, 8 a.m., Creek Bend Farm, Fremont, call the Sandusky County Park District, 419-334-4495 or 1-888-200-5577; also, Thursday, program on fungi, 5 p.m., Wolf Creek Park campground, State Rt. 53 south of Fremont, call the parks to register; also, Sunday, bird count with Hayes Audubon Society, 8 a.m., White Star Park wetlands, County Road 66 southeast of Gibsonburg.
Thursday: Public trapshoot, 6-9 p.m., Ottawa County Conservation League, Martin-Moline Road, Martin; call Bob Reinbolt, 419-855-8409.
Thursday: Public trapshoot, 7-10 p.m. Progressive Fishing Association, 8050 Schadel Rd., Whitehouse; call Mike Adcock, 419-897-8446.