2010-11 WATERFOWL SEASONS ESTABLISHED
Posted: Friday, August 20, 2010 12:02 pm
2010-11 WATERFOWL SEASONS ESTABLISHED AT TWRC MEETING
JACKSON, Tenn. — The 2010-11 waterfowl hunting seasons were established by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission at its August meeting, held at the UT West Tennessee Research Center.
The TWRC approved the proposals made by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The seasons reflect few changes from recent years. There will again be a 60-day season for 2010-11 duck hunting, with one split that would end Jan. 30, 2011 and a 6-duck bag limit. The maximum number of days allowed for goose hunting seasons under the federal framework will also be utilized.
The Statewide Zone duck hunting seasons to be held are Nov. 27-28 and Dec. 4-Jan. 30 while the Reel foot Zone will be held Nov. 13-14 and Dec. 4-Jan. 30. The seasons will maximize the number of weekends open to duck hunting and will end on the latest date allowed (the Sunday closest to Jan. 31).
Habitat conditions in the Prairie Pothole region of the United States and Canada were slightly improved over last year and overall duck populations were also up (both well above the long term average). Based on these conditions, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has offered a full season with no closed or partial seasons. The TWRA recommendations follow the maximum USFWS frameworks regarding duck bag limits. A daily bag limit of 6 ducks may include no more than: 4 mallards (no more than 2 of which may be a hen), 3 wood ducks (during the late waterfowl season only), 2 scaup, 2 pintails (an increase from 1 of last year), 1 canvasback, and 1 black duck. The daily bag limit of merganser would be 5, only 2 which may be hooded mergansers.
The maximum number of days allowed within in the federal framework for goose hunting seasons will be in effect. Goose seasons are set as late as federal frameworks allow in order to take advantage of any migratory geese that may be available in late winter.
Season dates for Canada geese are Oct. 9-Oct. 20, Nov. 27-28, and Dec. 4-Jan. 30, 2011 in the Statewide Zone. In the Northwest Zone, the dates are Dec. 4-Feb. 13. The daily bag limit is 2 per person.
The white-fronted goose season runs statewide from Dec. 4-Feb. 13. The daily bag limit is 2 per person.
Season dates and bag limits for light geese (snow, blue, Ross) are similar to last season with a shift for the calendar. The standard season will run from Nov. 24 through Feb. 13. 2011 (standard regulations apply). Federal Conservation Order provisions allow the use of electronic calls and unplugged shotguns for the Feb. 14 through March 10, 2011 portion of the season. The daily bag limit of light geese is 20 per person, per day during the conservation season.
The youth waterfowl season would indicate only a calendar shift from last year. For youth ages 6-15, the Statewide Zone dates are Feb. 5-6 while the Reelfoot Zone would be Feb. 12-13.
TWRA Executive Director, Ed Carter, presented the proposed budget for fiscal year 2011-12. He explained that the budget reflected virtually zero growth from the previous year, well within the agency’s projected revenue. Cost efficiencies, and staff reorganization made it possible to redirect existing funds toward priority programs. After the presentation by Director Carter, the TWRC approved the budget
Bobby Wilson, Fisheries Division Chief, gave a preview of the 2011-12 sport fishing regulations. The proposals for next year will be outlined in a release early next week. Sport fishing regulations are usually established during the October meeting of the TWRC.
A new commercial fisheries internet based electronic fish and mussel system is scheduled to go into effect Sept. 1, 2010. A presentation was also made by the Fisheries Division on the new commercial fisheries internet based electronic fish and mussel system. The new system is scheduled to go into effect on Sept. 1.
Olivia Hughes, a student at University School of Jackson, has been the “Best of Show” winner each of the past two years for Tennessee’s Junior Stamp Program. She was introduced to the commission and received an award for her accomplishments. Her winning drawings will be featured on the duck stamps each of the next two years. The TWRA is annual partner in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Junior Federal Stamp Contest.
Also recognized at the meeting was Kathleen Williams, president and executive director of the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation. She was honored for her work restoring the real estate transfer fund providing funds to TWRA for maintenance and land conservation.
Among the business during Wednesday’s committee meetings, Dave Kostersky, of Ducks Unlimited-Canada, presented a report on the activities in the prairies of Canada. The region provides the bulk of breeding habitat for ducks that winter in Tennessee.
Jason Maxedon, of the TWRA’s West Tennessee Forestry section, gave the TWRC a presentation on the agency’s re-forestation in the region. .
The TWRC will next meet in Crossville, Sept. 22-23. The location will be announced at a later date.