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2008-2009 Maryland Late Waterfowl Hunting Seasons Proposed
Maryland Department of Natural Resources Welcomes Public Comments through Aug. 20 on Proposal
ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources invites public comments on the recently proposed 2008-2009 late waterfowl hunting seasons.
“We are pleased to offer a variety of waterfowl hunting opportunities and continue the great tradition of wildfowling in the Chesapeake area,” said Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul A. Peditto. “Hunters will note several changes to the proposed waterfowl seasons this year. We look forward to public input on the proposals that ensure sustained waterfowl populations while allowing for use of this treasured natural resource.”
The proposed 2008-2009 duck season will be a 60-day season with a 6-duck daily bag limit. Species bag limits are based upon population status and spring breeding habitat and summer brood rearing conditions. This year, waterfowl managers proposed increasing the daily bag limit of wood ducks to three per day. A recent review of the biological data for this species indicates that the wood duck population can sustain some additional harvest pressure.
Conversely, the daily bag limit of scaup has been reduced to ensure harvest is compatible with population status. Although, scaup remain abundant, the population of lesser scaup has undergone a gradual decline as a result of several environmental factors that have contributed to lower survival and recruitment. The recently adopted scaup harvest strategy calls for a restrictive season in 2008, with a 1 scaup bag limit for 40 days of the 60-day regular duck season, and a 2 scaup limit during the remaining 20 days of the season.
There will be no open season on canvasback this year. The 2008 canvasback breeding population estimate decreased 44% from 2007, primarily the result of a 39% decline in pond numbers in Prairie Canada. Dry conditions exist throughout much of Prairie Canada and the north central U.S., thus the outlook for canvasback production is poor.
The 2008 spring breeding pair survey of Atlantic Population (migrant) Canada geese totaled 169,700 compared to 195,700 in 2007. Although the number of breeding pairs decreased, spring snow melt was normal over most of the major Atlantic Population (AP) breeding range. Favorable nesting conditions led to a strong nesting effort, and as a result, gosling production is expected to be good. The Atlantic Population Canada goose season will remain at 45 days with a daily bag limit of two geese.
The 2008-2009 proposed waterfowl hunting regulations also include changes to the regular Atlantic Flyway Resident Canada (AFRP) goose season. The season length for the AFRP Canada geese has been increased from 70 to 80 days and the closing federal framework date has been extended to March 10 to exert greater harvest pressure on this overabundant goose population. The proposed AFRP Canada goose season dates are Nov. 15 to Nov. 28 and Dec. 16 to Mar. 4. The daily bag limit is 5 geese per day. The AFRP Canada Goose Hunt Zone has also been modified to afford additional protection to migrant AP geese. Anne Arundel, Baltimore, and Howard Counties, and a portion of Carroll County will now be a part of the AP Hunt Zone.
Following a high mid-winter survey count of 161,000 Atlantic brant along the east coast, the proposed 2008 hunting regulations for Atlantic brant also have been liberalized to allow a 60-day season and a 3-bird daily bag limit.
For a table that lists all the proposed Maryland 2008-2009 late waterfowl hunting season dates and bag limits visit at http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/huntersguide/lwfchart.asp.
Public comments about the proposed waterfowl hunting season dates and bag limits may be submitted online at www.dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/lwfforum.asp, via fax at 410-260-8596, or over the phone by calling 410-260-8540.
On Monday, August 18, at 7 p.m., DNR will hold a public meeting to collect comments on the proposed regulations at Chesapeake College’s Amphitheater (Room H117) in the Kent Humanities Building in Wye Mills. Directions to the meeting are below.
FROM ANNAPOLIS AND POINTS WEST
Take Route 50 East to the traffic light at the intersection of Routes 50 and 213, and turn right on Route 213. The Chesapeake College entrance is on the right. Park in Lot E.
FROM SALISBURY AND POINTS EAST
Take Route 50 West to the traffic light at the intersection of Routes 50 and 213, and turn left on Route 213. The Chesapeake College entrance is on the right. Park in Lot E.
August 7, 2008
Contact: Olivia Campbell
410-260-8016 office I 410-507-7525 cell
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov