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July 14, 2015

MADISON -- Fall waterfowl hunting seasons are right around the corner, and 2015 U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates show the highest continental duck populations since the survey began in 1955.

The total 2015 duck population estimate is 49.5 million birds, with mallards and green-winged teal estimates at a record high 11.6 million and 4.1 million, respectively. Continental blue-winged teal estimates are at 8.5 million, which is the third highest estimate on record.

"This is exciting news for hunters in Wisconsin," said Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp. "Record numbers are a positive step toward another great year in the field, and we hope this great news from our federal partners will encourage new hunters to experience waterfowl hunting."

More information can be found in the full USFWS report [PDF] (exit DNR).

"The numbers are particularly encouraging for Wisconsin duck hunters since green-winged teal, blue-winged teal and mallards are three of the top four harvested duck species in Wisconsin," said Kent Van Horn, DNR migratory game bird ecologist.

As a reminder, after USFWS selects a season framework, public hearings regarding Wisconsin's proposed waterfowl seasons will be held Aug. 3 through Aug. 6. Public input will help inform final Wisconsin season recommendations presented to the Natural Resource Board for consideration and approval at its Aug. 12 meeting.

Public hearings regarding waterfowl season proposals are as follows:

For more information regarding waterfowl management in Wisconsin, search the DNR website,, for keywords "waterfowl management."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Kent Van Horn, DNR migratory game bird ecologist, 608-266-8841

Last Revised: Tuesday, July 14, 2015

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