Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Proposed Late Season Frameworks for Waterfowl Hunting

Jul 29, 2011

For Release on July 29, 2011

Contact:  Alicia F. King,  (571) 214-3117,
   alicia_f_king@fws.gov


Waterfowl Hunting Proposed Late Season Frameworks

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced proposed hunting season lengths for the upcoming 2011-2012 late waterfowl seasons. The proposed federal frameworks include duck hunting season lengths of 60 days in both the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyways, 74 days in the Central Flyway (with an additional 23 days in the High Plains areas), and 107 days in the Pacific Flyway. The proposed frameworks also include a full season on pintails with a 2 bird daily bag limit in nationwide, and a full season on canvasbacks with a 1 bird daily bag limit nation-wide.

States select their season from within the federal frameworks that establish the earliest season beginning and latest ending dates and the maximum season length and bag limits. The proposed late season waterfowl frameworks will appear in a mid-August edition of the Federal Register for public comment. Flyway-specific highlights of the proposed late-season frameworks are below:

Atlantic Flyway (Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina,
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and West
Virginia)

-  Ducks: A hunting season is proposed of not more than 60 days between
September 24, 2011, and January 29, 2012. The proposed daily bag limit is
6 and may include no more than 4 mallards (2 hens), 4 scoters, 3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 2 hooded mergansers, 2 scaup, 1 black duck, 2 pintails, 1 canvasback, 1 mottled duck, and 1 fulvous whistling duck.

-  Geese: For light geese, States would be able to select a 107-day season between October 1, 2011, and March 10, 2012, with a daily bag limit of 25 birds and no possession limit. Seasons for Canada geese would vary in length among States and areas depending on the populations of birds that occur in those areas. The daily bag limit will be 5 birds in hunt zones established for resident populations of Canada geese. In hunt zones established for migratory populations, bag limits will be 5 or fewer and vary among States and areas. For Atlantic brant, the season length may be 50 days with a daily bag limit of 2.

Mississippi Flyway (Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and
Wisconsin)

-  Ducks: A hunting season is proposed of not more than 60 days between September 24, 2011, and January 29, 2012. The proposed daily bag limit is
6 and may include no more than 4 mallards (2 hens), 3 wood ducks, 1 mottled duck, 2 redheads, 2 scaup, 2 pintails,1 black duck, and 1 canvasback. The proposed daily bag limit of mergansers is 5, only 2 of which may be hooded mergansers.

-  Geese: Generally, seasons for Canada goose would be held between September 24, 2011, and January 31, 2012, and vary in length among States and areas. States would be able to select seasons for light geese not to exceed 107 days with 20 geese daily between September 24, 2011, and March 10, 2012; for white-fronted goose the proposed season would not exceed 74 days with a 2-bird daily bag limit or 88 days with a 1-bird daily bag limit between September 24, 2011, and February 15, 2012; and for brant it would not exceed 70 days with a 2-bird daily bag limit or 107 days with a 1 bird daily bag limit between September 24, 2011, and January 31, 2012. There is no possession limit for light geese.

Central Flyway (Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and portions of Colorado, Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming)
-  Ducks: Duck seasons are proposed to be held between September 24, 2011, and January 29, 2012. The daily bag limit would be 6 ducks, with species and sex restrictions as follows: mallard - 5, no more than 2 of which may be females; wood duck - 3; scaup, pintail, and redhead - 2; mottled duck, and canvasback - 1. The mottled duck season will begin 5 days after the beginning of the regular season in Texas. The possession limit would be 2 times the daily bag limit. In the High Plains Mallard Management Unit (roughly west of the 100th Meridian), a 97-day season is proposed. The last 23 days would be able to start no earlier than December 10, 2011. A 74-day season is proposed for the remainder of the Central Flyway.

-  Geese: States may select seasons between September 24, 2011 and February 12, 2012 for dark geese and between September 24, 2011, and March 10, 2012, for light geese. East-tier States would be able to select a 107-day season for Canada goose season with a daily bag limit of 3. For white-fronted geese, States would be able to select either a 74 day season with a daily bag limit of 2 birds or an 88-day season with a daily bag limit of 1 bird. In the West-tier, States may select a 107-day dark- goose season with a daily bag limit of 5 birds. In the Western Goose zone of Texas, the State would be able to select a 95-day season with a daily bag limit of 5 dark geese (including no more than 1 white-fronted goose). For light geese, all States would be able to select a 107-day season with a daily bag limit of 20 and no possession limit.

Pacific Flyway (Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and portions of Colorado, Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming):

-  Ducks: Under the proposal, States are allowed a 107-day general duck season between September 24, 2011, and January 29, 2012. The proposed daily bag limit is 7 ducks, including no more than 2 mallard hens, 2 redheads, 2 pintails and 1 canvasback. In addition, an 86 day season for scaup can be chosen with a daily bag limit of 3.

-  Geese: 107-day seasons are proposed for the Pacific Flyway between September 24, 2011, and March 10, 2012. Proposed basic daily bag limits are up to 10 light geese and 4 dark geese. There are exceptions to the basic bag limits and season structures for geese in many States, so consult State regulations for specific details. In California, Washington and Oregon, the dark goose limit does not include brant. For brant, the proposed season lengths are 16 days in Oregon and Washington and 30 days in California, with a 2-bird daily limit. Washington and California are able to choose seasons in each of the two zones described in state regulations.

The Service's 2011 Waterfowl Population Status Report summarizes information about the status of duck and goose populations and habitat conditions during spring of 2011. The preliminary estimate of total ducks from the 2011 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey was 45.6 million birds. This estimate represents an 11% increase over last year's estimate of 40.8 million birds and is 35% above the long-term average. The 2011 total pond estimates (in Prairie Canada and the United States combined) was 8.1 million, an increase of 22% over last year and a 62% increase above the long-term average.

Annual survey results guides the Service's waterfowl conservation programs under authority of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The Service works in partnership with state biologists from the four flyways - the Atlantic,
Mississippi, Central and Pacific - to establish regulatory frameworks for waterfowl hunting season lengths, dates, and bag limits. Combined, these results form the largest data set on any wildlife species group in the world. They help provide equitable hunting opportunities while ensuring the long-term health of waterfowl populations.

To see the "Status of Waterfowl" report as well as last year's harvest
figures, please see http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/. To view a video of
the Status of Waterfowl video visit:
http://flyways.us/status-of-waterfowl/video-report/.

The mission of the Service's Migratory Bird Program is to ensure long-term ecological sustainability of migratory bird populations and their habitats for future generations, through careful monitoring, effective management, and by supporting national and international partnerships that conserve habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.

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