Delta Waterfowl traces its roots to 1911. Under the leadership of James Ford Bell the founder of General Mills, began a journey of conservation which led to the modern Delta Waterfowl of today. Originally inspired to put 2 ducks back for each one shot by he and his colleagues on his property on the famed Delta Marsh, quickly learned stocking wasn’t going to sustain wild duck populations. Bell sought out conservation leaders as to how he could make a difference. Bell brought Aldo Leopold, the father of modern game management, to Delta and there was born the idea of waterfowl research facility.
In 1938, Hans Albert (Al) Hochbaum arrived at Delta and became the organizations first scientific director. Hochbaum and his early Delta colleagues pioneered the study of breeding duck ecology, made seminal discoveries on habitat use and behavior. In the years since those early Delta pioneers, legions of graduate students laid the foundation of our understanding of waterfowl and their habitat. And those same researchers who pursued their Masters and Doctoral degrees in the wetlands of North America have gone on to impact waterfowl conservation in their professional lives serving in leadership positions in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Canadian Wildlife Service, non governmental organizations like Ducks Unlimited and state and provincial agencies working for our waterfowl resource.