Job completion report.
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Aerial inventories were flown along the Texas coast in October, November, December, and January to determine waterfowl population trends and levels. The December population of 3,218,800 ducks and geese was the highest recorded for the seven years that inventories have been made. The November population of 2,846,500 was the highest for that month to date, while the January count was only 1,200 less than the previous January peak. Fresh surface water and native foods were abundant and available to waterfowl. In addition, waste or lost rice was readily available in the flooded rice fields. However, the very abundance of these items resulted in a wide dispersion of the waterfowl population and in movements to new inland areas. It also resulted in lowered hunter kill. Pintail and redhead populations were greatly increased over past years and made up a major portion of the total waterfowl count each month during the past season. More than 80% of the total pintail population was concentrated in the shallow bays of South Texas, whereas in past seasons, the population has been more evenly distributed over the Texas Coast. The January inventory was coordinated with that of the Fish and Wildlife Service.