Texas waterfowl season is coming to an end and for many of us avid waterfowl hunters this has been a lackluster year. The ducks and geese have been extremely unpredictable. Many of our mornings have been spent snapping pictures of the sunrise instead of snapping pictures of limits. Biologists and conservationists I have talked to across the state have attributed several factors to the slow year: the abundance of water, unseasonably warm temperatures across the country, and years of dwindling rice production in Texas. Although this year has been full of great camaraderie in the field with friends and family, the quack addict in me is already starting to think about next year.
The abundance of water especially made it difficult on us this season, but I believe that abundance will pay big dividends over the next few years. One of the reasons rice farming has dwindled in Texas is because of the lack of water. Much of the rice belt of Texas has not seen LCRA water for over 5 years now due to drought conditions in our major reservoirs. Most of the farms that have been producing have been doing so with large ag water wells. Due to the expense of drilling, running, and maintaining these large wells, many farmers have not been able to plant rice or have had to scale back on the amount they produce. I believe that will change this year; the farmers I have talked to in Eagle Lake, El Campo, and Bay City, have all told me they are very optimistic that they will receive water due to the full reservoirs along the Colorado River.
Although this is only one of the many factors attributing to the migration change we have seen over the years, producing more grain and habitat for waterfowl brings us one step closer to how things used to be. Currently Arkansas produces over 50% of our nation’s rice, making it the “Rice and Duck Capital of the World”. The mild winter and abundance of food has kept a large number of waterfowl from continuing their annual trip to the Texas coast. Hopefully with some colder weather and an increase in grain production, we can encourage waterfowl to head farther south for the 2016-2017 season.
Improving the quality, quantity, and diversity of the wildlife through good management techniques is one of the best ways to add value to your investment. At Republic Ranches we strive to be a resource for you over the life of your investment to enhance your enjoyment and add value for future resale. It is best to implement wildlife management techniques throughout the life of your investment. Not only will you see better results but there are also property tax benefits if you desire to apply for a wildlife exemption. If you would like to discuss smart and cost effective ways to improve your property, please contact any one of our knowledgeable team members in your area.
You can begin to improve your wetland unit this spring with these simple and highly effective techniques. Managing Texas Wetlands written by our Broker/Partner, Jeff Boswell.
Past Management Articles:
Importance of Fawn Cover for White Tail Deer: https://republicranches.com/the-importance-of-fawn-cover-for-white-tailed-deer/
Farm Pond Overhaul: https://republicranches.com/farm-pond-overhaul/
Property Enhancement Programs: https://republicranches.com/property-enhancement-programs/