Drought news: Dry conditions will affect the waterfowl-hunting season #CODrought


From The Denver Post (Scott Willoughby):

After a lackluster opening week in the mountain/foothills zone, duck and coot season opened in Colorado’s northeast zone of the Central Flyway on Saturday, with a timely cold front pushing down from the north that is expected to drive some birds with it. The question is whether the change in the weather will be too little, or if those who weren’t out by sunrise Saturday morning are now too late.

“Due to the lack of moisture, many birds may fly quickly past Colorado in search of better conditions,” Jim Gammonley, avian research program leader for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said earlier in the week. “This year’s drought is so extensive, there aren’t a lot of other options, so birds could move far south earlier than usual, or some may even move back north for a while until the weather pushes them back again.”

With drought conditions continuing to plague habitat regionwide, early reports from the foothills were spotty. The most promising report mentioned a good number of mallards and wood ducks around Fire stone/Longmont. Some redheads and teal were reported in the Loveland area, but observations decreased to the south.

From the Summit County Citizens Voice (Bob Berwyn):

The weather year also ends Sept. 30, and in Breckenridge — perhaps surprisingly, given all the drought talk — precipitation ended up at 18.56 inches of rain and melted snow combined, just about 89 percent of average (20.67 inches). Meteorologists use and Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 year because it matches up better with seasonal hydrological cycles than the calendar year. Big rains like in July helped Breckenridge catch up to the annual average. Winter winds and warm temps in late spring and early summer were a big factor in the drought conditions, along with generally below average snowfall during the late winter and spring. Precipitation was above average at Bly’s weather station for five months of the year: October, January, February, July and August, but that couldn’t make up for the deficits in the rest of the year, especially March and April, which usually deliver copious moisture. Total snowfall for the year was 164.8 inches, compared to the average 199,5 inches…

Precipitation for the month was also below average in Dillon, where Denver Water officials measure rainfall, snow and temperatures for the National Weather Service. According to the monthly report, total precipitation was just0.78 inches, compared to the average 1.36 inches, based on records dating back to 1909, although the location of the station changed when the dam was built…

The weather story was a little different on the other side of the Continental Divide, where Denver reported its fifth-wettest September on record, including two daily maximum precipitation records, with 0.95 inches on Sept. 12 (old record, 0.91 inches, 1875, and 1.41 inches on Sept. 25 (old record, 0.71 inches, 1908). For the month, Denver tallied 2.95 inches, which is 1.99 inches above the average of 0.96 inches. The city’s wettest September on record was in 1961, with 4.67 inches of precipitation.

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