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Bi-Weekly Waterfowl Survey


The bi-weekly aerial waterfowl survey is used to monitor waterfowl abundance during fall/winter migration throughout the northern portion of Ohio. This survey also helps identify habitat types critical to waterfowl and helps document waterfowl use of restored wetland projects over time.


The survey is flown weekly during September and bi-weekly from October through January. The survey is flown over selected water areas distributed in the Lake Erie marsh region in northwestern Ohio, and will once again include Wildlife Areas throughout northern Ohio including Big Island, Killdeer Plains, Grand Lake St. Mary’s/Mercer, Killbuck Marsh, Funk Bottoms, and Mosquito Creek. This survey is conducted on or near the 1st and 15th of each month, weather permitting. The survey crew identifies and estimates the number of each species of waterfowl encountered on the survey sites. Survey transects are flown at an altitude and route to optimize waterfowl identification and minimize disturbance.

Survey Sites:

  • Sandusky Bay Marshes
  • Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area
  • Toussaint Marsh Area
  • Magee Marsh Wildlife Area
  • Metzger Marsh Wildlife Area
  • Maumee Bay
  • Ottawa Wildlife Area National Wildlife Refuge
  • Cedar Point National Wildlife Refuge
  • Navarre Marsh National Wildlife Refuge
  • Darby National Wildlife Refuge
  • Grand Lake St Mary’s
  • Big Island Wildlife Area
  • Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area
  • Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area
  • Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area
  • Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area