The prairie drought finally broke in the spring of 1994. Formerly arid potholes, sloughs, and marshes filled with snowmelt and stayed brimful well into summer. And the ducks responded. Mallard numbers were up 22 percent over the previous year's estimate, and the pintail breeding population soared 45 percent. In fact, of the 10 most abundant species in the spring survey all showed significant breeding population increases. If there was ever any doubt that DU's philosophy of restoring waterfowl populations via habitat conservation was sound, the remarkable duck comeback of the mid-1990s offered living proof. Provide a healthy landscape, as DU had so often stated throughout its history, and ducks would flourish.