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News Articles

06
Proposed 2004-2005 Maryland Late Waterfowl Hunting Seasons
Atlantic Population Canada Goose Daily Bag Limit Increased
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ANNAPOLIS -- The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Wildlife and Heritage (WHS) Service today announced the proposed 2004-2005 late waterfowl hunting seasons for Maryland and an accompanying public meeting scheduled for Aug. 17.

A full chart of the proposed seasons can be found at the DNR Web site: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/huntersguide/lwfchart.asp

The public has several alternative methods of voicing their opinions about this year’s waterfowl hunting season dates and bag limits: phone 410-260-8540, fax 410-260-8596 or online via the DNR Web site: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/lwfforum.asp.

Interested persons may also participate in a public meeting on Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Amphitheater (Room H117) in the Kent Humanities Building at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills. Directions are below.

Federal frameworks for AP (Atlantic Population) Canada geese were modified to allow Maryland a 45-day hunting season with a daily bag limit of one goose for the first 25 days and two geese for the remaining 20 days of the hunting season.

WHS Director Paul A. Peditto indicated that the 2004 spring breeding pair survey of AP geese in northern Quebec yielded an estimate of 174,800, about 12 percent above last year’s estimate of 156,900. He added that gosling production from this population is expected to be poor as extensive snow and ice cover into June delayed nesting. Future consideration of more liberal regulations will be dependent upon additional growth in the population. The proposed hunting season dates are Nov. 18 to Nov. 26, and Dec. 18 to Jan. 29.

Duck nesting habitat conditions during May in the mid-continent region of the U.S. and Canada were generally drier this year. However, summer rains have improved habitat conditions in some areas since the May surveys were completed. The total duck breeding population in the traditional survey area was 32 million or 11 percent lower than the 36 million estimated in 2003. In eastern breeding areas, duck breeding population estimates were 3.9 million and were similar to that of last year and the 1996-2003 average. Breeding habitat conditions were generally good to excellent in the eastern U.S. and Canada. Thus, a 60-day duck season is offered to Atlantic Flyway states. The proposed regular duck season dates are Oct. 9 to Oct. 16, Nov. 13 to Nov. 26, and Dec. 14 to Jan. 29. In addition to the proposed 5-duck daily bag limit, hunters may take 1 additional teal (blue-winged or green-winged teal) during any of the three split seasons. Black ducks may be taken only during the last two split seasons.

A duck species whose status remains of great concern to wildlife managers is the pintail. In 2004, the spring breeding population of pintails was 2.2 million, down 15 percent from last year. Furthermore, pintails remain 48 percent below their long-term average (1955-2003). A restrictive 30-day season for pintails was authorized for Atlantic Flyway states. The proposed pintail season dates are Oct. 9 to Oct. 16 and Jan. 4 to Jan. 29. The bag limit will be 1 pintail per day.

Peditto indicated that the canvasback season would be open in 2004/05 throughout the United States. A restrictive regulation of 30-days of canvasback hunting was authorized in the Atlantic Flyway. The proposed canvasback season dates are Dec. 27 to Jan. 29. The bag limit will be 1 canvasback per day.

The proposed 2004 Maryland waterfowl hunting seasons also include a late season for Resident Canada geese in the western part of the state. The proposed hunting season dates are Nov. 15 to Nov. 26 and Dec. 9 to Feb. 15. The daily bag limit will be 5 geese per day.

The National Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day in Maryland this year will be Nov. 6. Hunters age 15 and younger accompanied by an unarmed adult age 21 or older may take ducks, coots, mergansers, snow geese, brant, and 2 Canada geese on this day.

The public meeting to discuss the proposed late waterfowl seasons will be held August 17 at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, Maryland. The meeting will begin at 7:00 pm in the Amphitheater (Room H117) in the Kent Humanities Building.

Those persons having Internet access may review the proposed seasons and bag limits and make comments on-line by contacting the DNR web page at http://www.dnr.maryland.gov. In addition, written comments regarding the proposals can be mailed to Waterfowl Regulations, Wildlife and Heritage Service, Tawes State Office Building, 580 Taylor Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21401. Public comments will be accepted through the close of business on Aug. 19. Final announcement of the 2004 seasons selected by the DNR will be made in early September.

DIRECTIONS 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. The meeting is in the Amphitheater (Room H117) in the Kent Humanities Building.
DIRECTIONS 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. The meeting is in the Amphitheater (Room H117) in the Kent Humanities Building.

The accompanying table lists the proposed season dates and bag limits now under consideration by the WHS for Maryland’s 2004-2005 late waterfowl hunting seasons.

2004-2005 WATERFOWL SEASONS AND BAG LIMITS Under Consideration

DUCKS, COOTS, and MERGANSERS

Season Dates: Oct. 9 - Oct. 16
Nov. 13 - Nov. 26
Dec. 14 - Jan. 29

Black Duck Nov. 13 - Nov. 26
Dec. 14 - Jan. 29

Pintail Oct. 9 - Oct. 16
Jan. 4 - Jan. 29

Canvasback Dec. 27 - Jan. 29

Duck Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 5 ducks per day which may include no more than: 4 mallards (max. 2 hen mallards), 2 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 3 scaup, 4 scoters, 1 black duck (during black duck season), 1 pintail (during pintail season), 1 canvasback (during canvasback season), 1 fulvous tree duck, and 1 mottled duck. No open season on harlequin ducks. During all three duck season splits, hunters may take 1 additional teal (blue-winged or green-winged teal). The possession limit is twice the daily bag limit. In addition to the duck bag limit hunters may take 15 coot and 5 mergansers per day, which may include not more than 1 hooded merganser.

SEA DUCKS (Scoters, Long-tailed Duck, and Eiders)

Season Dates and
Daily Bag Limit in
Sea Duck Zone Oct. 2 - Nov. 26
Nov. 29 - Jan. 29 5 (no more than 4 scoters)

ATLANTIC POPULATION (AP) CANADA GOOSE

Season Dates and
Daily Bag Limit Nov. 18 - Nov. 26
Dec. 18 - Jan. 6
Jan. 7 - Jan. 29 1 per day
1 per day
2 per day

AP Hunt Zone: Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Harford, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, St. Mary’s, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties and that portion of Anne Arundel County east of Interstate 895, Interstate 97, and Route 3, Prince Georges County east of Routes 3 and 301, and Charles County east of Route 301 to the VA state line.

RESIDENT POPULATION (RP) CANADA GOOSE

Season Dates and
Daily Bag Limit Nov. 15 - Nov. 26
Dec. 9 - Feb. 15 5 per day

RP Hunt Zone: Garrett, Allegany, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery and Washington Counties and that portion of Anne Arundel County west of Interstate 895, Interstate 97, and Route 3, Prince Georges County west of Routes 3 and 301, and Charles County west of Route 301 to the VA state line.

ATLANTIC BRANT

Season Dates and
Daily Bag Limit Nov. 17 - Nov. 26
Dec. 14 - Jan. 29 2 per day

GREATER SNOW GEESE

Season Dates and
Daily Bag Limit Oct. 16 - Nov. 26
Dec. 4 - Jan. 31
Feb. 2 - Mar. 9* 15 per day, no possession limit

Note*: Season only open on Mon., Wed., Fri., and Sat. during Feb. 2- Mar. 9.

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