Each year, when the snow melts on the fields west of Estevan, social media lights up with images of one specific field. Lines, circles, semi-circles, and more, are carved into the prairie landscape, filled with water. The speculation of what these could be ranges from the occult, to bored farmers, to aliens.
We first looked into what these were ten years ago, but after images came up during the melt we experienced last week, we went looking for more information. Knowing they are called duck condos, and are a Ducks Unlimited Project, we reached out to Michael Champion. He oversees industry and government relations in Saskatchewan for the organization.
“We receive several calls, I think, annually asking if aliens have landed in southern Saskatchewan,” Champion chuckled. “It’s a large wetland project that Ducks Unlimited Canada, in partnership with local conservation and development associations, manage.”
The project is designed to hold water and manage the water. It does more than provide refuge for waterfowl and preserve wetlands, however. Champion explained there are some benefits for livestock producers as well.
“It provides a potential feedstock for livestock producers in the area as well if they can get in there in June or early July and cut some hay.”
While Ducks Unlimited Canada is dedicated to helping preserve wetlands throughout the nation, the majority of their projects are tied to the agricultural industry, Champion continued. While it is primarily the livestock sector, there is also programming available for annual croppers as well.