St. Charles Herald-Guide

Herald-Guide Outdoor Report

By Ann Taylor - January 9, 2008

Salvador Wildlife Management Area saw it's pouldeau (coot) populations explode while ducks remained spotty, says the region's biologist supervisor Todd Baker.


The 2007-08 duck season, which ends on Sunday, Jan. 20, saw a good season - but not great - except for hunters who targeted pouldeau. Pouldeau hunters didn't have a problem filling their bag limits of 15 birds per hunter.

Salvador WMA hunting was above average while Lake Cataouachi was on the poor side.

“One problem on the management area and lake was an awful lot of water hyacinth,” says Baker.

The biologist believe the hyacinth blocks out the duck food, diverting ducks to hyacinth-free areas.

"But this is only a theory - I'm not sure this is the case," he said.

Bag limits at the Pier 90 launch averaged 2.3 ducks per WMA hunter and one duck per lake hunter, but Baker said that the numbers are misleading because he had to count ducks shot by pouldeau hunters in the bag limit.

"Most pouldeau hunters will shoot a duck if it comes within range, so we have to count their ducks in our bag limits even though they aren't targeting ducks."

Hunters shot mostly blue-wing teal and ringnecks.

With a cold front pushing through on Thursday, Baker said Friday should have the best conditions.

ON THE PROWL. Hunting the Salvador Wildlife Management Area has been above average in some areas, spotty in others. At right Austin Fremen of Luling shows off a limit of blue-wing teal and grey ducks. Below Coot hunters aren’t having trouble filling their
Photo by Ann Taylor
ON THE PROWL. Hunting the Salvador Wildlife Management Area has been above average in some areas, spotty in others. At right Austin Fremen of Luling shows off a limit of blue-wing teal and grey ducks. Below Coot hunters aren’t having trouble filling their