A Comparative Study Of Availability Of Waterfowl Foods And Waterfowl Use On A Series Of Clean And Turbid Farm Ponds In North-Central Oklahoma

Studies on twenty-one clear and twenty-three turbid ponds in Payne and Noble counties in Oklahoma were made during the 1956 late winter and spring waterfowl migration (February-May). A total of 5,402 waterfowl representing thirteen species was observed. Dabblers made up 84.6 percent of the total number observed. Waterfowl reached a peak during the first week of March and then declined sharply. This decline coincided with a decrease in available aquatic plants which were depleted by the feeding of large numbers of waterfowl. The clear ponds received 95.9 percent greater waterfowl use than the turbid ponds. The "type" of pond, whether open or ravine, does not seem to have any significance to waterfowl use. Conclusive data on the relation of pond size to use by waterfowl was not obtained in this investigation. Disturbance by man's direct activities was not considered as being significant during the period of this study. Creating and maintaining clear and productive farm ponds seems to be the most feasible and economical waterfowl management practice in this area.

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