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2009-2010 Maryland Late Waterfowl Hunting Seasons Proposed

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

ANNAPOLIS, MD —-(AmmoLand.com)- The proposed 2009-2010 late waterfowl hunting seasons and bag limits are now available from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife & Heritage Service.

“We are pleased to offer a variety of opportunities for hunters to continue the great tradition of waterfowl hunting in Maryland,” said Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul A. Peditto. “Our proposed seasons and bag limits are designed to maximize recreation while maintaining sustainable waterfowl populations. As always, we are looking forward to an active public participation process as we move forward toward finalizing these proposals.”

Good breeding habitat conditions in eastern Canada as well as improved water levels in the ponds of the north-central U.S. and prairie region of Canada should result in a large fall flight of ducks this year. As a result, DNR is proposing a 60-day duck season with a six-bird bag limit for 2009-10.

“There is particularly good news for diving duck enthusiasts this year,” said DNR’s Waterfowl Project Leader Larry Hindman. “The breeding population of canvasbacks increased 38 percent to 660,000 birds this year and scaup numbers were above four million for the first time in nearly a decade. As a result, diving duck hunters will review a proposal for two scaup and one canvasback per day during the full 60-day regular duck season.”

The 2009 spring breeding pair survey of Atlantic Population (AP) or migrant Canada geese totaled 176,600 pairs compared to 169,700 in 2008. Although the number of breeding pairs remained similar to last year, spring snowmelt was delayed over most of the major AP breeding range in northern Quebec. The unusual weather conditions resulted in reduced nesting effort and poor gosling production for AP geese. As a result, the 2009 Canada goose AP season proposal remains unchanged from last year at 45 days with a daily bag limit of two geese.

This spring the greater snow goose breeding population reached an all time high with 1.4 million birds.

“While other goose populations in the eastern arctic suffered poor nesting conditions, greater snow geese experienced favorable nesting conditions with nest density and success higher that normal,” said Hindman. “The fall flight of greater snow geese will be larger than last year.”

Greater and lesser snow geese and Ross’s geese are collectively referred to as “light geese.” A Light Goose Conservation Order season will immediately follow the conclusion of the regular light goose hunting season this year. During the Conservation Order season, hunters may use unplugged shotguns, electronic calls and hunt from one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset with no daily bag or possession limits.

“The intent of the Conservation Order season and liberalized hunting methods is to significantly reduce the light goose population,” said Hindman. “The Atlantic Flyway greater snow goose population is more than twice the desired population size. A reduced population will help minimize the ecological and agricultural damage caused by the current over-abundance of light geese.”

The proposed Maryland 2009-2010 late waterfowl hunting season dates and bag limits may be viewed on the DNR website at http://www.dnr.state.md.us/huntersguide/lwfchart.asp.

DNR will hold a public meeting to collect comments on the proposed regulations at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills on Monday, August 17, at 7 p.m. Public comments may also be submitted online at www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/lwfforum.asp, via fax (410-260-8596), by phone (410-260-8540) or by writing to: Director, Wildlife and Heritage Service, 580 Taylor Avenue, Annapolis, Maryland 21401. The comment period ends at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, August 18, 2009.

Public Meeting, Chesapeake College, Wye Mills, Maryland. August 17, 2009, 7 p.m.

DIRECTIONS FROM ANNAPOLIS AND POINTS WEST – Cross the bay bridge and continue on 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 D. The meeting is in the Higher Education Center (Room 110).

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 D. The meeting is in the Higher Education Center (Room 110).

About:
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 467,000 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.

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