California Fish and Game Commission Set to meet on 2017/18 Waterfowl Season Regulations February 8th

The Pacific Flyway Council, in cooperation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, develops regulations for migratory birds in the United States west of the Continental Divide.  The 2017/18 regulation framework has been released and there will be a meeting on these proposed regulations on February 8th in Rohnert Park, California.  Anyone who would like to present statements, orally or in writing, regarding the regulation framework may attend.  The formal adoption of the regulations will take place at the Commission meeting on April 26th in Van Nuys (more on that later).

Although I had a little trouble finding it this year, after a few emails to a very cooperative member of the USFWS, I was able to track down the Pacific Flyway Council Recommendations, Informational Notes and Subcommittee Reports which includes the framework for our upcoming waterfowl season.  In prior years a simplified version of this was posted online at flyways.us, however, for some reason this wasn’t done this year.  This document is 121 pages long if you’d like to peruse it, but as far as our duck and goose seasons most of the regulation framework starts on page 31 and goes through page 34.  Below is a link to the Pacific Flyway Council Recommendations, Informational Notes and Subcommittee Reports:

Click to access Recs_sep.pdf

It’s pretty much the same regulations as this year, assuming the Fish and Game Commission adopts the most liberal version (as they historically do) with the only real major change being that the Pintail limit will drop from 2 birds a day to 1 bird a day.  Unfortunately, for us, this is kind of a bummer as in our area Pintails are a fairly common bird.  Even with a 2 bird limit there are times when Pintails are the second or third most numerous bird harvested on our Southern California wildlife areas.  However, one can’t really argue with the drop from 2 a day to 1 a day since it is based on scientific facts.  Page 32 of the Pacific Flyway Council Recommendations, Informational Notes and Subcommittee Reports has pintail framework (Text copied below)

“Northern pintail: In 2010, the Service and Flyway councils adopted the adaptive harvest management protocol to inform harvest management decisions for northern pintails in all four flyways. For pintails, optimal regulatory alternatives for the 2017 hunting season in each flyway were calculated using: (1) an objective of maximizing long-term cumulative harvest, including a closed-season constraint of 1.75 million birds; (2) current pintail regulatory alternatives; and (3) current population models and their relative weights. Based on a liberal regulatory alternative with a 2 bird daily bag limit selected in 2016, the 2016 survey results of 2.62 million pintails observed at a mean latitude of 58.6 degrees, the optimal regulatory choice for the 2017 hunting season for all four flyways is the liberal regulatory alternative with a 1 bird daily bag limit.”

The California Fish and Game Commission has put out a notice on the upcoming meetings regarding the adoption of the framework’s regulations.  If you’d like to attend or comment at the Fish and Game Commission’s meetings you can check the below link for details:

Click to access 502ntc2_2017.pdf

Short version is:

“NOTICE IS GIVEN that any person interested may present statements, orally or in writing, relevant to this action at a hearing to be held in the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Sonoma, One Doubletree Drive, Rohnert Park, California, on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at 8:00 a.m., or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard.”

“NOTICE IS ALSO GIVEN that any person interested may present statements, orally or in writing, relevant to this action at a hearing to be held in Airtel Plaza Hotel, 7277 Valjean Ave., Van Nuys, California, on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, at 8:00 a.m., or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard. It is requested, but not required, that written comments be submitted on or before 5:00 p.m. on April 12, 2017 at the address given below, or by email to FGC@fgc.ca.gov. Written comments mailed, or emailed to the Commission office, must be received before 12:00 noon on April 21, 2017. All comments must be received no later than April 26, 2017, at the hearing in Van Nuys, California. If you would like copies of any modifications to this proposal, please include your name and mailing address.”

The framework given to the California Fish and Game Commission lays out the following for our area:

Season:

Ducks: Between 38 & 105 days

Scaup: 86 days

Geese: no longer then 100 days.

Limits:

Ducks:

[4-7]/day, which may include: [3-7] mallards no more than [1-2] females, 1 pintail, 2 canvasback, 2 redheads, 3 scaup.
Possession limit triple the daily bag.

Geese:

23/day, which may include: 20 white geese, 3 dark geese. Possession limit triple the daily bag.


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