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Proposed Rule: Migratory bird hunting: Late-season migratory bird hunting regulations

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    Monday,

    August 22, 2005

    Part III

    Department of theInteriorFish and Wildlife Service

    50 CFR Part 20

    Migratory Bird Hunting; ProposedFrameworks for Late-Season MigratoryBird Hunting Regulations; Proposed Rule

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    49068 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 161 / Monday, August 22, 2005/ Proposed Rules

    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

    Fish and Wildlife Service

    50 CFR Part 20

    RIN 1018AT76

    Migratory Bird Hunting; ProposedFrameworks for Late-Season Migratory

    Bird Hunting Regulations

    AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service,Interior.

    ACTION: Proposed rule; supplemental.

    SUMMARY: The Fish and Wildlife Service(hereinafter Service or we) is proposingto establish the 200506 late-seasonhunting regulations for certainmigratory game birds. We annuallyprescribe frameworks, or outer limits,for dates and times when hunting mayoccur and the number of birds that may

    be taken and possessed in late seasons.These frameworks are necessary toallow State selections of seasons andlimits and to allow recreational harvestat levels compatible with populationand habitat conditions.

    DATES: You must submit comments onthe proposed migratory bird huntinglate-season frameworks by September 1,2005.

    ADDRESSES: Send your comments on theproposals to the Chief, Division ofMigratory Bird Management, U.S. Fishand Wildlife Service, Department of theInterior, ms MBSP4107ARLSQ, 1849C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20240.

    All comments received, includingnames and addresses, will become partof the public record. You may inspectcomments during normal businesshours at the Services office in room4107, Arlington Square Building, 4501N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:Brian Millsap, Chief, or Ron W. Kokel,Division of Migratory Bird Management,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, (703)3581714.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Regulations Schedule for 2005

    On April 6, 2005, we published in theFederal Register (70 FR 17574) aproposal to amend 50 CFR part 20. Theproposal provided a background andoverview of the migratory bird huntingregulations process, and dealt with theestablishment of seasons, limits, theproposed regulatory alternatives for the200506 duck hunting season, and otherregulations for migratory game birdsunder 20.101 through 20.107, 20.109,and 20.110 of subpart K. On June 24,2005, we published in the FederalRegister (70 FR 36794) a second

    document providing supplementalproposals for early- and late-seasonmigratory bird hunting regulationsframeworks and the regulatoryalternatives for the 200506 duckhunting season. The June 24supplement also provided detailedinformation on the 200506 regulatoryschedule and announced the Service

    Migratory Bird Regulations Committee(SRC) and Flyway Council meetings.

    On June 22 and 23, we held openmeetings with the Flyway CouncilConsultants, at which the participantsreviewed information on the currentstatus of migratory shore and uplandgame birds and developedrecommendations for the 200506regulations for these species plusregulations for migratory game birds inAlaska, Puerto Rico, and the VirginIslands; special September waterfowlseasons in designated States; special seaduck seasons in the Atlantic Flyway;

    and extended falconry seasons. Inaddition, we reviewed and discussedpreliminary information on the status ofwaterfowl as it relates to thedevelopment and selection of theregulatory packages for the 200506regular waterfowl seasons. On August 1,2005, we published in the FederalRegister (70 FR 44200) a third documentspecifically dealing with the proposedframeworks for early-season regulations.In late August, we will publish arulemaking establishing finalframeworks for early-season migratory

    bird hunting regulations for the 200506season.

    On July 2728, 2005, we held openmeetings with the Flyway CouncilConsultants, at which the participantsreviewed the status of waterfowl anddeveloped recommendations for the200506 regulations for these species.This document deals specifically withproposed frameworks for the late-seasonmigratory bird hunting regulations. Itwill lead to final frameworks fromwhich States may select season dates,shooting hours, areas, and limits.

    We have considered all pertinentcomments received through July 29,2005, in developing this document. In

    addition, new proposals for certain late-season regulations are provided forpublic comment. The comment periodis specified above under DATES. We willpublish final regulatory frameworks forlate-season migratory game bird huntingin the Federal Register on or aroundSeptember 20, 2005.

    Population Status and Harvest

    The following paragraphs provide abrief summary of information on thestatus and harvest of waterfowlexcerpted from various reports. For

    more detailed information onmethodologies and results, you mayobtain complete copies of the variousreports at the address indicated underADDRESSES or from our Web site athttp://migratorybirds.fws.gov.

    Status of Ducks

    Federal, provincial, and State

    agencies conduct surveys each spring toestimate the size of breedingpopulations and to evaluate theconditions of the habitats. Thesesurveys are conducted using fixed-wingaircraft and helicopters and encompassprincipal breeding areas of NorthAmerica, and cover over 2.0 millionsquare miles. The Traditional surveyarea comprises Alaska, Canada, and thenorthcentral United States, and includesapproximately 1.3 million square miles.The Eastern survey area includes partsof Ontario, Quebec, Labrador,Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, PrinceEdward Island, New Brunswick, NewYork, and Maine, an area ofapproximately 0.7 million square miles.

    Breeding Ground Conditions

    Habitat conditions at the time of thesurvey in May 2005 were variable, withsome areas improved relative to lastyear and others remaining or becomingincreasingly dry. The total May pondestimate (Prairie and Parkland Canadaand the northcentral U.S. combined)was 5.4 0.2 million ponds. This was37 percent greater than last yearsestimate of 3.9 0.2 million ponds and12 percent higher than the long-term

    average of 4.8 0.1 million ponds.Habitat in the surveyed portion of theU.S. prairies was in fair to poorcondition due to a dry fall, winter, andearly spring and warm wintertemperatures. Nesting habitat wasparticularly poor in South Dakota

    because of below average precipitationresulting in degraded wetlandconditions and increased tilling andgrazing of wetland margins. Birds mayhave overflown the State for wetterconditions to the north. Water levelsand upland nesting cover wererelatively better in North Dakota and

    eastern Montana, and wetlandconditions in these regions improvedmarkedly during June following thesurvey, with the onset of well-aboveaverage precipitation. The 2005 pondestimate for north-central U.S. (1.5 0.1million) was similar to last yearsestimate.

    The prairies of southern Alberta andsouthwestern Saskatchewan were alsoquite dry in early May. The U.S. andCanadian prairies received substantialrain in late May and during the entiremonth of June that recharged wetlands

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    and encouraged growth of vegetation.While this improved habitat quality onthe prairies, it probably came too late to

    benefit early-nesting species or preventoverflight. This heavy rain likely

    benefited late-nesting species andimproved renesting. Record high rainsflooded the lower elevation prairie areasof central Manitoba during April,

    producing fair or poor nestingconditions for breeding waterfowl. Incontrast, the Canadian Parklands weremuch improved compared to last year,due to several years of improvingnesting cover and above-normalprecipitation last fall and winter. Theseareas were in good-to-excellentcondition at the start of the survey andremained so into July. Overall, the Maypond estimate in Prairie and ParklandCanada was 3.9 0.2 million. This wasa 56 percent increase over last yearsestimate of 2.5 0.1 million ponds and17 percent higher than the long-term

    average of 3.3

    0.3 million ponds.Portions of northern Manitoba andnorthern Saskatchewan alsoexperienced flooding, resulting in onlyfair conditions for breeding waterfowl.In contrast, most of the NorthwestTerritories was in good condition due toadequate water and a timely spring

    break-up that made habitat available toearly-nesting species. However, dryconditions in eastern parts of theNorthwest Territories and northernAlberta resulted in low water levels inlakes and ponds and the completedrying of some wetlands. Therefore,habitat was also classified as fair in

    these areas.For the most part, habitats in Alaska

    were in excellent condition, with anearly spring and good water levels,except for a few flooded river areas andon the North Slope, where spring waslate.

    In the Eastern Survey Area (strata 5172), habitat conditions were generallygood due to adequate water andrelatively mild spring temperatures.Exceptions were the coast of Maine andthe Atlantic Provinces, where Maytemperatures were cool and someflooding occurred along the coast and

    major rivers. Also, below-normalprecipitation left some habitat in fair topoor condition in southern Ontario.However, precipitation in southernOntario after survey completionimproved habitat conditions in thatregion.

    Breeding population status

    In the Waterfowl Breeding Populationand Habitat Survey traditional surveyarea (strata 118, 2050, and 7577), thetotal duck population estimate was 31.7 0.6 [SE] million birds, similar to last

    years estimate of 32.2 0.6 millionbirds but 5 percent below the 19552004 long-term average. Mallard (Anas

    platyrhynchos) abundance was 6.8 0.3million birds, which was 9 percent

    below last years estimate of 7.4 0.3million birds and 10 percent below thelong-term average. Blue-winged teal (A.discors) abundance was 4.6 0.2

    million birds, similar to last yearsestimate of 4.1 0.2 million birds, andthe long-term average. Of the other duckspecies, the gadwall estimate (A.strepera;2.2 0.1 million) was 16percent below that of 2004, whileestimates of northern pintails (A. acuta;2.6 0.1 million; +17 percent) andnorthern shovelers (A. clypeata;3.6 0.2 million; +28 percent) weresignificantly above 2004 estimates. Theestimate for northern shovelers was 67percent above the long-term average forthis species, as were estimates ofgadwall (+30 percent) and green-winged

    teal (A. crecca;2.2

    0.1 million; +16percent). Northern pintails remained 38percent below their long-term averagedespite this years increase inabundance. Estimates of Americanwigeon (A. americana;2.2 0.1 million;15 percent) and scaup (Aythya affinisand A. marila combined; 3.4 0.2;35percent) also were below theirrespective long-term averages; theestimate for scaup was a record low.Abundances of redheads (A. americana)and canvasbacks (A. valisineria) weresimilar to last years counts and long-term averages.

    The eastern survey area was

    restratified, and is now composed ofstrata 5172. Mergansers (red-breasted[Mergus serrator], common [M.merganser], and hooded [Lophodytescucullatus;];25 percent), mallards(36 percent), American black ducks(A. rubripes,24 percent), and green-winged teal (46 percent) were all

    below their 2004 estimates. Ring-neckedducks (Aythya collaris) and goldeneyes(common [Bucephala clangula] andBarrows [B. islandica]) were similar totheir 2004 estimates. No species in theeastern survey area differed from theirlong-term averages.

    Fall Flight EstimateThe mid-continent mallard

    population is composed of mallardsfrom the traditional survey area,Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin,and is 7.5 + 0.3 million which is 10percent lower than the 2004 estimate of8.3 + 0.3 million. The 2005 mid-continent mallard fall-flight index is 9.3+ 0.1 million, similar to the 2004estimate of 9.4 + 0.1 million birds.These indices were based on revisedmid-continent mallard population

    models and, therefore, differ from thosepreviously published.

    See section 1.A. Harvest StrategyConsiderations for further discussion onthe implications of this information forthis year(s selection of the appropriatehunting regulations.

    Status of Geese and Swans

    We provide information on thepopulation status and productivity ofNorth American Canada geese (Brantacanadensis), brant (B. bernicla), snowgeese (Chen caerulescens), Ross geese(C. rossii), emperor geese (C. canagica),white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons),and tundra swans (Cygnuscolumbianus). The timing of springsnowmelt in important goose and swannesting areas in most of the Arctic andsubarctic was near average, or earlierthan average in 2005. Delayed nestingphenology or reduced nesting effort wasindicated for only Alaskas North Slopeand areas of the eastern Canadian HighArctic. Primary abundance indices in2005 increased from 2004 levels for 12goose populations and decreased for 13goose populations. Primary indices in2005 increased for western tundraswans and decreased for eastern tundraswans. Of these 27 populations, theAtlantic, Eastern Prairie, MississippiFlyway Giant, and Aleutian Canadagoose populations, and the WesternArctic/Wrangel Island snow goosepopulation displayed significantpositive trends during the most recent10-year period. Only Short Grass PrairiePopulation Canada geese and Pacific

    brant displayed significant negative 10-year trends. The forecast for theproduction of geese and swans in NorthAmerica in 2005 is generally favorableand improved from that of 2004.

    Waterfowl Harvest and Hunter Activity

    During the 200405 hunting season,both duck and goose harvest decreasedfrom the previous year. U.S. huntersharvested 12,312,200 ducks in 200405compared to 13,165,500 in 200304, andthey harvested 3,189,700 geese,compared to 3,828,200 geese taken in200304. The five most commonly

    harvested duck species were mallard(4,531,600), green-winged teal(1,373,600), gadwall (1,364,000), woodduck (1,105,500), and wigeon (750,600).

    Review of Public Comments andFlyway Council Recommendations

    The preliminary proposedrulemaking, which appeared in theApril 6, 2005, Federal Register, openedthe public comment period formigratory game bird huntingregulations. The supplemental proposedrule, which appeared in the June 24,

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    2005, Federal Register, discussed theregulatory alternatives for the 2005(06duck hunting season. Late-seasoncomments are summarized below andnumbered in the order used in the April6 Federal Register document. We haveincluded only the numbered itemspertaining to late-season issues forwhich we received written comments.

    Consequently, the issues do not followin successive numerical or alphabeticalorder.

    We received recommendations fromall four Flyway Councils. Somerecommendations supportedcontinuation of last years frameworks.Due to the comprehensive nature of theannual review of the frameworksperformed by the Councils, support forcontinuation of last years frameworks isassumed for items for which norecommendations were received.Council recommendations for changesin the frameworks are summarized

    below.We seek additional information andcomments on the recommendations inthis supplemental proposed rule. Newproposals and modifications topreviously described proposals arediscussed below. Wherever possible,they are discussed under headingscorresponding to the numbered items inthe April 6, 2005, Federal Registerdocument.

    General

    Council Recommendations:TheAtlantic Flyway Council recommendedincreasing the possession limit of

    waterfowl to four times the daily baglimit, except where currently moreliberal.

    Service Response:We do not supportthe recommendation to increasepossession limits. The possession limitregulation [50 CFR 20.33] is sometimesthe only tool law enforcement personnelhave to combat over-bag violations, dueto the remoteness of some huntinglocations and the difficulties officers/agents encounter while conductingsurveillance of hunter compliance.Further, we believe the deterrence toviolate would be substantially reduced

    by increasing the traditional possessionlimits.

    1. Ducks

    Categories used to discuss issuesrelated to duck harvest management are:(A) Harvest Strategy Considerations, (B)Regulatory Alternatives, (C) Zones andSplit Seasons, and (D) Special Seasons/Species Management. The categoriescorrespond to previously publishedissues/discussion, and only thosecontaining substantial recommendationsare discussed below.

    A. Harvest Strategy Considerations

    Council Recommendations:TheAtlantic, Central, and Pacific FlywayCouncils and the Upper- and Lower-Regulations Committees of theMississippi Flyway Councilrecommended the adoption of theliberal regulatory alternative, with the

    exception of some specific bag limitsdescribed below in section 1.D. SpecialSeasons/Species Management. Morespecifically, recommendationsconcerned sections ii. September Teal/Wood Duck Seasons, iii. Black Ducks,iv. Canvasbacks, v. Pintails, and vii.Scaup.

    Service Response:We are continuingdevelopment of an AHM protocol thatwould allow hunting regulations to varyamong Flyways in a manner thatrecognizes each Flyways unique

    breeding-ground derivation of mallards.For the 2005 hunting season, we believethat the prescribed regulatory choice for

    the Mississippi, Central, and PacificFlyways should continue to depend onthe status of midcontinent mallards. Wealso recommend that the regulatorychoice for the Atlantic Flywaycontinues to depend on the status ofeastern mallards. Investigations of thedynamics of western mallards (and theirpotential effect on regulations in theWest) are continuing; therefore we arenot yet prepared to recommend an AHMprotocol for this mallard stock.

    For the 2005 hunting season, we arecontinuing to consider the sameregulatory alternatives as those used last

    year. The nature of the restrictive,moderate, and liberal alternatives hasremained essentially unchanged since1997, except that extended frameworkdates have been offered in the moderateand liberal regulatory alternatives since2002. Also, we agreed in 2003 to placea constraint on closed seasons in thewestern three Flyways whenever themidcontinent mallard breeding-population size (traditional survey areaplus MN, MI, and WI) is 5.5 million.

    Optimal AHM strategies for the 2005hunting season were calculated using:(1) Harvest-management objectives

    specific to each mallard stock; (2) the2005 regulatory alternatives; and (3)current population models andassociated weights for midcontinent andeastern mallards. Based on this yearssurvey results of 7.54 millionmidcontinent mallards (traditionalsurveys area plus MN, WI, and MI), 3.9million ponds in Prairie Canada, and1.05 million eastern mallards, theprescribed regulatory choice for all fourFlyways is the liberal alternative.

    Therefore, we concur with therecommendations of the Atlantic,

    Mississippi, Central, and PacificFlyways regarding selection of theliberal regulatory alternative andpropose to adopt the liberalregulatory alternative, as described inthe June 24 Federal Register.

    C. Zones and Split Seasons

    Council Recommendations:The

    Atlantic Flyway Council recommendedthat the Service allow three zones, withtwo-way splits in each zone, as anadditional option for duck seasonconfigurations in 20062010. Guidelinesfor zone-split configurations should befinalized by September 2005 so stateshave adequate opportunity to considerpossible changes for 2006.

    The Upper-Region RegulationsCommittee of the Mississippi FlywayCouncil recommended that the Serviceallow three zones, with two-way splitsin each zone, and four zones with nosplits, as additional options for duck

    season configurations in 20062010. Inaddition, the Committee recommendedthat States with existing grand fatheredstatus be allowed to retain that status.

    The Central Flyway Councilrecommended allowing three zones,with two-way splits (three seasonsegments) in each zone, and four zoneswith no splits, as additional options forduck season configurations in 20062010.

    Service Response:In 1990, because ofconcerns about the proliferation ofzones and split seasons for duckhunting, a cooperative review and

    evaluation of the historical use of zone/split options was conducted. Thisreview did not show that theproliferation of these options hadincreased harvest pressure; however, theability to detect the impact of zone/splitconfigurations was poor because ofunreliable response variables, the lackof statistical tests to differentiate

    between real and perceived changes,and the absence of adequateexperimental controls. Consequently,guidelines were established to provide aframework for controlling theproliferation of changes in zone/split

    options. The guidelines identified alimited number of zone/splitconfigurations that could be used forduck hunting and restricted thefrequency of changes in theseconfigurations to 5-year intervals. In1996, the guidelines were revised toprovide States greater flexibility inusing their zone/split arrangements.Open seasons for changes occurred in1991, 1996, and 2001. The fourth openseason will occur next year when zone/split configurations will be establishedfor the 20062010 period.

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    In response to recommendations fromthe Flyway Councils, we consideredchanges to the current zone/splitguidelines. We believe that theguidelines implemented in 2001continue to achieve their intendedobjectives while allowing Statessufficient flexibility to addressdifferences in physiography, climate,

    and other factors and that the guidelinesneed not be changed. Thus, theseguidelines will be used to guide zone/split selection for next years and futureopen seasons.

    We request that by April 15, 2006,States notify us whether or not theyplan to change their zone/splitconfigurations for the next 5-year period(20062010). Those States wishing tochange their configuration shouldsubmit a proposal for the change by thisdate.

    Guidelines for Duck Zones and SplitSeasons

    The following zone/split-seasonguidelines apply only for the regularduck season:

    1. A zone is a geographic area orportion of a State, with a contiguous

    boundary, for which independent datesmay be selected for the regular duckseason.

    2. Consideration of changes formanagement-unit boundaries is notsubject to the guidelines and provisionsgoverning the use of zones and splitseasons for ducks.

    3. Only minor (less than a county insize) boundary changes will be allowed

    for any grandfather arrangement, andchanges are limited to the open season.

    4. Once a zone/split option is selectedduring an open season, it must remainin place for the following 5 years.

    Any State may continue theconfiguration used in the previous 5-year period. If changes are made, thezone/split-season configuration mustconform to one of the following options:(1) Three zones with no splits; (2) Splitseasons (no more than 3 segments) withno zones; or (3) Two zones with theoption for 2-way split seasons in one or

    both zones.

    Grandfathered Zone/SplitArrangements

    When the zone/split guidelines werefirst implemented in 1991, severalStates had completed experiments withzone/split arrangements different fromOptions 13 above. Those States wereoffered a one-time opportunity tocontinue those arrangements, with thestipulation that only minor changescould be made to zone boundaries; andif they ever wished to change theirzone/split arrangement, the new

    arrangement would have to conform toone of the 3 options identified above. Ifa grandfathered State changed its zoningarrangement, it could not go back to thegrandfathered arrangement it previouslyhad in place. Current grandfatheredarrangements are:

    Atlantic Flyway:Massachusetts, NewJersey3 zones with 2-segment splits in

    each zone. New York5 zones with 2-segment splits in each zone.Pennsylvania4 zones with 2-segmentsplits in each zone.

    Mississippi Flyway:Michigan,Indiana, Ohio3 zones with 2-segmentsplits in each zone.

    Central Flyway:Nebraska5 zoneswith 2-segment splits in each zone.South Dakota4 zones with 2-segmentsplits in each zone.

    Pacific Flyway:Alaska5 zones with2-segment splits in 1 zone. California5 zones with 2-segment splits in eachzone.

    D. Special Seasons/Species Management

    ii. September Teal/Wood Duck Seasons

    Council Recommendations:TheAtlantic Flyway Council recommendedincreasing the wood duck bag limit inthe Atlantic Flyway to three birdsduring October 1 to the first Sunday inNovember for a three-year experimentalperiod (2005/062007/08).

    Service Response:We do not supportthe Atlantic Flyway Councils proposalto increase the bag limit for wood ducks.We note that the breeding bird surveypopulation trend for the past 10 years

    exhibits no significant trend, suggestingthe population is stable at currentharvest levels. Further, preliminaryharvest rate estimates from thecooperative reward band study suggestthat current wood duck harvest rates arehigher than previously thought. We

    believe that a full assessment of thisinformation is needed to determinewhether or not wood ducks can sustainadditional harvest pressure. We proposeto continue our cooperative assessmentsof available wood duck population datawith both the Mississippi and AtlanticFlyways, and expect a full assessment of

    this information to take several years.iii. Black Ducks

    Council Recommendations:TheAtlantic Flyway Council recommendedthe Service give conceptual approval toallow the States of Maine, NewHampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts,Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York,and New Jersey an option to return toa two black duck daily bag limit in anyor all waterfowl management zones forpossible implementation in 2006. Theseason length for black ducks would be

    reduced for the number of daysappropriate to ensure no increase in

    black duck harvest or harvest rate. Thisapproach would require thedevelopment of a 3-year experimentaldesign covering a block of states largeenough to support appropriateevaluation.

    Service Response:During this past

    year, we have continued dialogue withthe Atlantic and Mississippi Flywaysregarding assessments of the harvestpotential of black ducks. We areparticularly concerned with evidence ofa long-term decline in the productivityof black ducks, which implies decliningharvest potential. Harvest rates of blackducks have increased concurrently withimplementation of AHM and the returnto longer seasons. Current harvest ratesas measured by reward banding are nowat or near the levels which are likely toproduce maximum sustainable harvests.If the decline in productivity continues

    and harvest rates are not reduced,harvest and population size can beexpected to decline as well. In light ofthe assessment work conducted to date,we do not support any regulatorychanges this year. Thus, we do notsupport the Atlantic Flyway Councilsproposal.

    In addition to the biological concernsexpressed above, we have a more basicconceptual concern with this proposal.In general, we do not support dividingFlyways into regions with differentialspecies regulations and/or regulatoryoptions. Our approach is predicated onthe fact that our monitoring and

    assessment capacity are primarilydesigned to monitor harvests andpopulation status at the Flyway scale. Inmany cases, our monitoring programsdo not have the necessary precision toevaluate approaches such as has beenrecommended here. Althoughadditional effort can be directed atrefining these estimates, we believe thecosts of the additional information faroutweighs any potential benefits toresource conservation, harvestopportunity or hunter satisfaction.

    iv. Canvasbacks

    Council Recommendations:TheAtlantic, Central, and Pacific FlywayCouncils and the Upper- and Lower-Regulations Committees of theMississippi Flyway Councilrecommended that the Service allow arestrictive canvasback seasonconsisting of a 1-bird daily bag limit anda 30-day season in the Atlantic andMississippi Flyways, 39-day season inthe Central Flyway, and 60-day seasonin the Pacific Flyway.

    Service Response:Based on regulatoryactions in recent years and

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    recommendations from the FlywayCouncils, the canvasback harveststrategy was modified in 2004 to allowpartial seasons within the regular duckseason. The modification allows acanvasback season length equal to thatof the restrictive AHM regulatoryalternative if a full season is notsupported, but the reduced harvest from

    the restricted season predicts a springabundance the following year equal toor greater than the objective of 500,000

    birds. Otherwise, the season oncanvasbacks would be closed. Further,

    based on a recommendation from thePacific Flyway Council, Alaska wouldhave a 1-bird daily bag limit for theentire regular duck season in all yearsunless the Service determines that it isin the best interest of the canvasbackresource to close the season in Alaska aswell as the lower 48 states.

    This years spring survey resulted inan estimate of 520,574 canvasbacks. The

    estimate of ponds in Prairie Canada was3.9 million, which was 17% above theaverage. The allowable harvest in theU.S. calculated from these numbers is84,424 birds, which is below thepredicted U.S. harvest of 118,904associated with the liberal duck seasonalternative. Thus, for 200506, acanvasback season the entire length ofthe regular season is not supported.However, the restrictive season lengthwithin the regular duck season isexpected to result in a harvest of about61,758 canvasbacks, and is supported.Thus, we propose a season length at thelevel of the restrictive AHM

    alternative (i.e., 30 days in the Atlanticand Mississippi Flyways, 39 days in theCentral Flyway, and 60 days in thePacific Flyway) for this year. Seasonsmay be split according to applicablezones/split duck hunting configurationsapproved for each State.

    v. Pintails

    Council Recommendations:TheAtlantic, Central, and Pacific FlywayCouncils and the Upper- and Lower-Regulations Committees of theMississippi Flyway Councilrecommended a full season for pintails

    consisting of a 1-bird daily bag limit anda 60-day season in the Atlantic andMississippi Flyways, a 74-day season inthe Central Flyway, and a 107-dayseason in the Pacific Flyway.

    Service Response:We earlierendorsed the continued use of thepintail harvest strategy withoutalteration from the provision adopted in2004. With an observed spring breedingpopulation of 2,561,000 and a projectedfall flight of 3,215,000 pintails, theharvest strategy prescribes a full seasonand a 1-bird bag in all Flyways. Under

    the liberal season length, thisregulation is expected to result in aharvest of 603,000 pintails with2,288,000 birds in next years breedingpopulation. Thus, we concur with theAtlantic, Mississippi, and PacificFlyway Councils on the selection of afull season for pintails.

    Furthermore, we agree with the

    Central Flyways recommendation toadopt a 39-day season within a seasonfor pintails. We understand that thisdeparture from the pintail strategy is anecessary step for the Flyway tocomplete a 3-year evaluation of theseason within a season structure forpintails and canvasbacks. This baselineinformation will allow a comparison toa proposed strategy to implement anexperimental Hunters Choice seasonin the future.

    vi. Scaup

    Council Recommendations:TheAtlantic Flyway recommended States begiven the option of choosing a scaupseason of sixty days with a one birddaily bag limit, or a restrictive 30-day(consecutive) season with a three birddaily bag limit.

    Service Response:Almost two years ofassessment work on scaup has led us toconclude that while population size hascontinued to decline, harvest rates havecontinued to increase. Although harvesthas not been implicated as a causalfactor in this population decline,harvests now appear to be at or nearmaximum sustainable levels. Moreover,there is evidence that the long-term

    decline of the scaup population hasbeen accompanied by declines in thesustainable levels of harvest. Therefore,we believe regulatory restrictions onscaup are warranted and propose: (1)That each flyway reduce the current baglimit for scaup by 1 bird; (2) That wecontinue assessment work with a goal ofdeveloping a framework for makingmore informed regulatory decisions forscaup harvest management; and finally,(3) That we ascertain if this bag-limitrestriction results in a meaningfulreduction in harvest rate, which is moreconsistent with scaup population levels

    and harvest potential than is currentlythe case.

    3. Mergansers

    Council Recommendations:TheAtlantic Flyway Council recommendedthat beginning with the 200506hunting season, the Service offer theAtlantic Flyway States the option ofincluding the merganser bag limitwithin the regular duck bag limit (themerganser limit would be the same asthe regular duck bag limit). States wouldalso have the option of selecting a

    separate merganser bag limit. TheCouncil further recommended that thedaily bag limit on hooded mergansers beincreased from 1 to 2 birds.

    Service Response:We concur with therecommendation to allow mergansers to

    be included in the duck bag limit in theAtlantic Flyway. Regarding hoodedmergansers, we understand that a

    variety of data sources suggest thathooded mergansers may be increasing.However, the recommendation from theAtlantic Flyway Council to increase the

    bag limit from one to two hasimplications beyond the AtlanticFlyway. Therefore, we will defer adecision until next year to allow theother Flyway Councils to consider theramifications of this recommendation intheir respective Flyways.

    4. Canada Geese

    B. Regular Seasons

    Council Recommendations:The

    Atlantic Flyway Council recommendedthat Atlantic Population (AP) Canadagoose hunting regulations include a 45-day season, with a daily bag limit of 3geese in the New England and Mid-Atlantic Regions with an openingframework date of the fourth Saturdayin October and a closing date of January31. In the Chesapeake Region (exceptBack Bay, VA), season length would be45 days, with a daily bag limit of 2geese. In Back Bay, VA, season lengthwould be 15 days at the end of theVirginias AP season, with a daily baglimit of 1 goose. The framework opening

    date in the Chesapeake Region would beNovember 15 and the closing datewould be January 31. Remaining APharvest areas (i.e., Northeast Hunt Unitin coastal NC) would remain closed.The Council also recommendedmodification of the Pymatuning Zone inPennsylvania to include a portion ofCrawford County. Further, the Councilrecommended that the framework forthe SJBP Canada goose zone inPennsylvania be 70 hunting days

    between the second Saturday in Octoberand February 15 with a daily bag limitof no more than 2 for days used before

    January 15 and a daily bag of 5 for daysused between January 15 and February15. Lastly, the Council recommendedmodifications to Atlantic FlywayResident Population (AFRP) regular-season hunting zones in New York,Pennsylvania, Maryland, and NorthCarolina.

    The Upper- and Lower-RegulationsCommittees of the Mississippi FlywayCouncil recommended a number ofchanges in season length, season dates,

    bag limits, and quotas for Minnesota,Iowa, and Missouri in response to

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    changes in the status of the EasternPrairie Population (EPP) Canada goosepopulation and in Kentucky, Tennessee,Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois inresponse to changes in the status of theMississippi Valley Population (MVP)Canada goose population.

    The Pacific Flyway Councilrecommended the following changes for

    geese in the Pacific Flyway:1. Increase the daily bag limit for

    Aleutian and cackling geese inCalifornias Northeast zone and Balanceof State zone from 1 per day to 4 perday.

    2. Remove the Canada goose huntingclosure in the Sacramento Valley of theBalance of State Zone in California.

    3. Decrease the cackling goose dailybag limit from 4 per day to 2 per dayin the Oregon and Washington specialpermit goose zones.

    4. In the Oregon special permit goosezone remove the restriction on Aleutiangeese.

    5. Remove the goose hunting closurein Coos and Curry counties Oregon.

    Service Response:We concur with allof the Atlantic Flyway Councilsrecommendations. However, regardingthe recommendation to establish alimited season in Back Bay, Virginia, weare proposing the addition of a 15-dayseason, 1-bird/per season, in NorthCarolinas Northeastern Hunt Unit. BothStates will be required to conduct a 3-year evaluation to determine the originof the harvested birds. We will workwith Virginia and North Carolina todevelop an MOU specifying criteria

    regarding sample sizes and methods ofassessment. These assessments will beconducted at the individual State level.

    We also concur with all of therecommendations forwarded by thePacific Flyway Council with oneexception, the request to increase smallCanada goose bag limits from one tofour in California. We are aware of theconcerns regarding increasingdepredation complaints stemming fromincreasing numbers of Aleutian Canadageese in California. We are alsocommitted to achieving the populationobjectives for cackling geese and

    support the recommendations from thePacific Flyway Council to achieve thetargeted harvest reductions. Theproposal to increase the small Canadagoose bag limit in the Northeastern andBalance-of-State Zones in Californiadoes address the Aleutian depredationproblem, but not the requested targetedharvest reductions for cackling geese.Therefore, since we believe onlycackling geese occur in the NortheasternZone, we do not support the proposed

    bag limit increase for this zone, as thischange will not address the Aleutian

    goose depredation issue and willincrease the harvest of cackling geese.However, in recognition of thedepredation issue, and recognizing thevery limited cackler harvest expected toresult from the proposed bag limitincrease in the Balance-of-State Zone,we support the increase in the bag limitfrom one to four small Canada geese in

    this zone.5. White-Fronted Geese

    Council Recommendations:TheAtlantic Flyway Council recommendedthat the Service include white-frontedgeese as part of Canada goose huntingregulation frameworks in the AtlanticFlyway to allow the legal take of thisspecies.

    The Upper- and Lower-RegionRegulations Committees of theMississippi Flyway Councilrecommended that the 200506 white-fronted goose regulations be consistent

    with the base regulations in thecurrent White-fronted GooseManagement Plan. This would result inregulations options of 72 days and 2white-fronted geese per day or 86 daysand 1 white-fronted goose per day.Their recommendation is contingentupon the same regulations beingimplemented in the eastern portion ofthe Central Flyway.

    The Central Flyway Councilrecommended a season framework of 72days with a daily bag limit of 2 white-fronted geese, or an alternative season of86 days with a bag limit of 1, in all East-tier States. States could split the season

    once and the possession limit would betwice the daily bag limit. In the WestTier States, the Council recommended aseason framework of 107 days, except inTexas and Colorado where the seasonwould be 95 days, with a daily bag limitof 5 white-fronted geese except in theWestern Goose Zone of Texas where thedaily bag limit will be 1 white-frontedgoose. States could split the season onceand the possession limit would be twicethe daily bag limit.

    Service Response:We support therecommendation of the Mississippi andCentral Flyway Councils to return to the

    base regulations package for white-fronted geese this year as described inthe original management plan.

    6. Brant

    Council Recommendations:TheAtlantic Flyway Council recommendeda 30-day season with a 2-bird daily baglimit for Atlantic brant in 2005.

    The Pacific Flyway Councilrecommends decreasing the brantseason length in Washington from 16days to 8 days and decreasing the brantseason in California from 30 consecutive

    to 15 days. Both States may create twozones. Seasons in Oregon and Californiamust end by December 15.

    Service Response:We concur.

    7. Snow and Rosss (Light) Geese

    Council Recommendations:ThePacific Flyway Council recommendedincreasing the light goose limit

    throughout the Flyway from 3 per dayto 4 per day.Service Response:We concur.

    Public Comment Invited

    The Department of the Interiorspolicy is, whenever practicable, toafford the public an opportunity toparticipate in the rulemaking process.We intend that adopted final rules be asresponsive as possible to all concernedinterests and, therefore, seek thecomments and suggestions of the public,other concerned governmental agencies,nongovernmental organizations, andother private interests on these

    proposals. Accordingly, we inviteinterested persons to submit writtencomments, suggestions, orrecommendations regarding theproposed regulations to the addressindicated under ADDRESSES.

    Special circumstances involved in theestablishment of these regulations limitthe amount of time that we can allow forpublic comment. Specifically, twoconsiderations compress the time inwhich the rulemaking process mustoperate: (1) The need to establish finalrules at a point early enough in thesummer to allow affected State agencies

    to adjust their licensing and regulatorymechanisms; and (2) the unavailability,before mid-June, of specific, reliabledata on this years status of somewaterfowl and migratory shore andupland game bird populations.Therefore, we believe that to allowcomment periods past the datesspecified in DATES is contrary to thepublic interest.

    Before promulgation of finalmigratory game bird huntingregulations, we will take intoconsideration all comments received.Such comments, and any additional

    information received, may lead to finalregulations that differ from theseproposals. You may inspect commentsreceived on the proposed annualregulations during normal businesshours at the Services office in room4107, 4501 North Fairfax Drive,Arlington, Virginia. For each series ofproposed rulemakings, we will establishspecific comment periods. We willconsider, but possibly may not respondin detail to, each comment. However, asin the past, we will summarize allcomments received during the comment

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    period and respond to them in the finalrule.

    NEPA Consideration

    NEPA considerations are covered bythe programmatic document, FinalSupplemental Environmental ImpactStatement: Issuance of AnnualRegulations Permitting the Sport

    Hunting of Migratory Birds (FSES 8814), filed with the EnvironmentalProtection Agency on June 9, 1988. Wepublished Notice of Availability in theFederal Register on June 16, 1988 (53FR 22582), and our Record of Decisionon August 18, 1988 (53 FR 31341). Inaddition, in a proposed rule publishedin the April 30, 2001, Federal Register(66 FR 21298), we expressed our intentto begin the process of developing a newEIS for the migratory bird huntingprogram. We plan to begin the publicscoping process this year.

    Endangered Species Act Consideration

    Prior to issuance of the 200506migratory game bird huntingregulations, we will consider provisionsof the Endangered Species Act of 1973,as amended (16 U.S.C. 15311543;hereinafter the Act), to ensure thathunting is not likely to jeopardize thecontinued existence of any speciesdesignated as endangered or threatenedor modify or destroy its critical habitat,and is consistent with conservationprograms for those species.Consultations under Section 7 of thisAct may cause us to change proposals

    in this and future supplementalproposed rulemaking documents.

    Executive Order 12866

    The migratory bird huntingregulations are economically significantand were reviewed by the Office ofManagement and Budget (OMB) underExecutive Order 12866. As such, a cost/

    benefit analysis was initially preparedin 1981. This analysis was subsequentlyrevised annually from 199096, updatedin 1998, and updated again in 2004. Itis further discussed below under theheading Regulatory Flexibility Act.Results from the 2004 analysis indicatethat the expected welfare benefit of theannual migratory bird huntingframeworks is on the order of $734 to$1,064 million, with a mid-pointestimate of $899 million. Copies of thecost/benefit analysis are available uponrequest from the address indicatedunder ADDRESSES or from our Web siteat http://www.migratorybirds.gov.

    Executive Order 12866 also requireseach agency to write regulations that areeasy to understand. We invite commentson how to make this rule easier to

    understand, including answers toquestions such as the following:

    (1) Are the requirements in the ruleclearly stated?

    (2) Does the rule contain technicallanguage or jargon that interferes withits clarity?

    (3) Does the format of the rule(grouping and order of sections, use of

    headings, paragraphing, etc.) aid orreduce its clarity?

    (4) Would the rule be easier tounderstand if it were divided into more(but shorter) sections?

    (5) Is the description of the rule in theSUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section ofthe preamble helpful in understandingthe rule?

    (6) What else could we do to make therule easier to understand?

    Send a copy of any comments thatconcern how we could make this ruleeasier to understand to: Office ofRegulatory Affairs, Department of theInterior, Room 7229, 1849 C Street NW.,Washington, DC 20240. You may also e-mail the comments to this address:[email protected]

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    These regulations have a significanteconomic impact on substantialnumbers of small entities under theRegulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601et seq.). We analyzed the economicimpacts of the annual huntingregulations on small business entities indetail as part of the 1981 cost-benefitanalysis discussed under ExecutiveOrder 12866. This analysis was revised

    annually from 199095. In 1995, theService issued a Small Entity FlexibilityAnalysis (Analysis), which wassubsequently updated in 1996, 1998,and 2004. The primary source ofinformation about hunter expendituresfor migratory game bird hunting is theNational Hunting and Fishing Survey,which is conducted at 5-year intervals.The 2004 Analysis was based on the2001 National Hunting and FishingSurvey and the U.S. Department ofCommerces County Business Patterns,from which it was estimated thatmigratory bird hunters would spend

    between $481 million and $1.2 billion atsmall businesses in 2004. Copies of theAnalysis are available upon requestfrom the address indicated underADDRESSES or from our Web site athttp://www.migratorybirds.gov.

    Small Business Regulatory EnforcementFairness Act

    This rule is a major rule under 5U.S.C. 804(2), the Small BusinessRegulatory Enforcement Fairness Act.For the reasons outlined above, this rulehas an annual effect on the economy of

    $100 million or more. However, becausethis rule establishes hunting seasons, wedo not plan to defer the effective dateunder the exemption contained in 5U.S.C. 808(1).

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    We examined these regulations underthe Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    The various recordkeeping andreporting requirements imposed underregulations established in 50 CFR part20, Subpart K, are utilized in theformulation of migratory game birdhunting regulations. Specifically, OMBhas approved the information collectionrequirements of the surveys associatedwith the Migratory Bird HarvestInformation Program and assignedclearance number 10180015 (expires 2/29/2008). This information is used toprovide a sampling frame for voluntarynational surveys to improve our harvestestimates for all migratory game birds in

    order to better manage thesepopulations. Lastly, OMB has approvedthe information collection requirementsof the Alaska Migratory BirdSubsistence Household Survey, anassociated voluntary annual householdsurvey used to determine levels ofsubsistence take in Alaska. The OMBcontrol number for the informationcollection is 10180124 (expires 10/31/2006). A Federal agency may notconduct or sponsor and a person is notrequired to respond to a collection ofinformation unless it displays acurrently valid OMB control number.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform ActWe have determined and certify, in

    compliance with the requirements of theUnfunded Mandates Reform Act, 2U.S.C. 1502 et seq., that this rulemakingwill not impose a cost of $100 millionor more in any given year on local orState government or private entities.Therefore, this rule is not a significantregulatory action under the UnfundedMandates Reform Act.

    Civil Justice Reform-Executive Order12988

    The Department, in promulgating this

    proposed rule, has determined that thisproposed rule will not unduly burdenthe judicial system and that it meets therequirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2)of Executive Order 12988.

    Takings Implication Assessment

    In accordance with Executive Order12630, this proposed rule, authorized bythe Migratory Bird Treaty Act, does nothave significant takings implicationsand does not affect any constitutionallyprotected property rights. This rule willnot result in the physical occupancy of

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    http://www.migratorybirds.gov/http://www.migratorybirds.gov/mailto:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]://www.migratorybirds.gov/http://www.migratorybirds.gov/mailto:[email protected]://www.migratorybirds.gov/http://www.migratorybirds.gov/
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    property, the physical invasion ofproperty, or the regulatory taking of anyproperty. In fact, these rules allowhunters to exercise otherwiseunavailable privileges and, therefore,reduce restrictions on the use of privateand public property.

    Energy EffectsExecutive Order 13211

    On May 18, 2001, the President issuedExecutive Order 13211 on regulationsthat significantly affect energy supply,distribution, and use. Executive Order13211 requires agencies to prepareStatements of Energy Effects whenundertaking certain actions. While thisproposed rule is a significant regulatoryaction under Executive Order 12866, itis not expected to adversely affectenergy supplies, distribution, or use.Therefore, this action is not a significantenergy action and no Statement ofEnergy Effects is required.

    Federalism Effects

    Due to the migratory nature of certainspecies of birds, the FederalGovernment has been givenresponsibility over these species by theMigratory Bird Treaty Act. We annuallyprescribe frameworks from which theStates make selections regarding thehunting of migratory birds, and weemploy guidelines to establish specialregulations on Federal Indianreservations and ceded lands. Thisprocess preserves the ability of theStates and tribes to determine whichseasons meet their individual needs.Any State or Indian tribe may be more

    restrictive than the Federal frameworksat any time. The frameworks aredeveloped in a cooperative process withthe States and the Flyway Councils.This process allows States to participatein the development of frameworks fromwhich they will make selections,thereby having an influence on theirown regulations. These rules do nothave a substantial direct effect on fiscalcapacity, change the roles orresponsibilities of Federal or Stategovernments, or intrude on State policyor administration. Therefore, inaccordance with Executive Order 13132,

    these regulations do not have significantfederalism effects and do not havesufficient federalism implications towarrant the preparation of a FederalismAssessment.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 20

    Exports, Hunting, Imports, Reportingand recordkeeping requirements,Transportation, Wildlife.

    The rules that eventually will bepromulgated for the 200506 huntingseason are authorized under 16 U.S.C.703712 and 16 U.S.C. 742 aj.

    Dated: August 11, 2005.

    Julie MacDonald,

    Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish andWildlife and Parks.

    Proposed Regulations Frameworks for200506 Late Hunting Seasons onCertain Migratory Game Birds

    Pursuant to the Migratory Bird Treaty

    Act and delegated authorities, theDepartment has approved frameworksfor season lengths, shooting hours, bagand possession limits, and outside dateswithin which States may select seasonsfor hunting waterfowl and coots

    between the dates of September 1, 2005,and March 10, 2006.

    General

    Dates: All outside dates noted beloware inclusive.

    Shooting and Hawking (taking byfalconry) Hours: Unless otherwisespecified, from one-half hour before

    sunrise to sunset daily.Possession Limits: Unless otherwisespecified, possession limits are twicethe daily bag limit.

    Flyways and Management Units

    Waterfowl Flyways:Atlantic Flywayincludes

    Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia,Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, NewHampshire, New Jersey, New York,North Carolina, Pennsylvania, RhodeIsland, South Carolina, Vermont,Virginia, and West Virginia.

    Mississippi FlywayincludesAlabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana,

    Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan,Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio,Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

    Central Flywayincludes Colorado(east of the Continental Divide), Kansas,Montana (Counties of Blaine, Carbon,Fergus, Judith Basin, Stillwater,Sweetgrass, Wheatland, and all countieseast thereof), Nebraska, New Mexico(east of the Continental Divide exceptthe Jicarilla Apache Indian Reservation),North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota,Texas, and Wyoming (east of theContinental Divide).

    Pacific Flywayincludes Alaska,

    Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada,Oregon, Utah, Washington, and thoseportions of Colorado, Montana, NewMexico, and Wyoming not included inthe Central Flyway.

    Management Units:

    High Plains Mallard ManagementUnitroughly defined as that portion ofthe Central Flyway that lies west of the100th meridian.

    Definitions: For the purpose ofhunting regulations listed below, thecollective terms (dark and (light geese

    include the following species: Darkgeese:Canada geese, white-frontedgeese, brant, and all other goose speciesexcept light geese. Light geese:snow(including blue) geese and Ross geese.

    Area, Zone, and Unit Descriptions:Geographic descriptions related to late-season regulations are contained in alater portion of this document.

    Area-Specific Provisions: Frameworksfor open seasons, season lengths, bagand possession limits, and other specialprovisions are listed below by Flyway.

    Compensatory Days in the AtlanticFlyway: In the Atlantic Flyway States ofConnecticut, Delaware, Maine,Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey,North Carolina, Pennsylvania, andVirginia, where Sunday hunting isprohibited statewide by State law, allSundays are closed to all take ofmigratory waterfowl (includingmergansers and coots).

    Atlantic Flyway

    Ducks, Mergansers, and Coots

    Outside Dates: Between the Saturdaynearest September 24 (September 24)and the last Sunday in January (January29).

    Hunting Seasons and Duck Limits: 60days, except canvasbacks which maynot exceed 30 days, and season splitsmust conform to each State(s zone/splitconfiguration for duck hunting. Thedaily bag limit is 6 ducks, including nomore than 4 mallards (2 hens), 2 scaup,1 black duck, 1 pintail, 1 canvasback, 1mottled duck, 1 fulvous whistling duck,

    2 wood ducks, 2 redheads, and 4scoters. A single canvasback may also beincluded in the 6-bird daily bag limit fordesignated youth-hunt days.

    Closures: The season on harlequinducks is closed.

    Sea Ducks:Within the special seaduck areas, during the regular duckseason in the Atlantic Flyway, Statesmay choose to allow the above sea ducklimits in addition to the limits applyingto other ducks during the regular duckseason. In all other areas, sea ducks may

    be taken only during the regular openseason for ducks and are part of the

    regular duck season daily bag (not toexceed 4 scoters) and possession limits.Merganser Limits:The daily bag limit

    of mergansers is 5, only 1 of which maybe a hooded merganser. In States thatinclude mergansers in the duck baglimit, the daily limit is the same as theduck bag limit, only one of which may

    be a hooded merganser.Coot Limits:The daily bag limit is 15

    coots.Lake Champlain Zone, New York: The

    waterfowl seasons, limits, and shootinghours shall be the same as those

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    selected for the Lake Champlain Zone ofVermont.

    Connecticut River Zone, Vermont:The waterfowl seasons, limits, andshooting hours shall be the same asthose selected for the Inland Zone ofNew Hampshire.

    Zoning and Split Seasons: Delaware,Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North

    Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina,and Virginia may split their seasons intothree segments; Connecticut, Maine,Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New

    Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania,Vermont, and West Virginia may selecthunting seasons by zones and may splittheir seasons into two segments in eachzone.

    Canada Geese

    Season Lengths, Outside Dates, andLimits: Specific regulations for Canadageese are shown below by State. Theseseasons also include white-fronted

    geese. Unless specified otherwise,seasons may be split into two segments.In areas within States where theframework closing date for AtlanticPopulation (AP) goose seasons overlapswith special late-season frameworks forresident geese, the framework closingdate for AP goose seasons is January 14.

    Connecticut:North AtlanticPopulation (NAP) Zone: BetweenOctober 1 and January 31, a 60-dayseason may be held with a 2-bird daily

    bag limit in the H Unit and a 70-dayseason with a 3-bird daily bag in the LUnit.

    Atlantic Population (AP) Zone: A 45-day season may be held between thefourth Saturday in October (October 22)and January 31, with a 3-bird daily baglimit.

    South Zone: A special experimentalseason may be held between January 15and February 15, with a 5-bird daily baglimit.

    Delaware:A 45-day season may beheld between November 15 and January31, with a 2-bird daily bag limit.

    Florida:A 70-day season may be heldbetween November 15 and February 15,with a 5-bird daily bag limit.

    Georgia:In specific areas, a 70-day

    season may be held between November15 and February 15, with a 5-bird daily

    bag limit.Maine:A 60-day season may be held

    Statewide between October 1 andJanuary 31, with a 2-bird daily bag limit.

    Maryland:Resident Population (RP)Zone: A 70-day season may be held

    between November 15 and February 15,with a 5-bird daily bag limit.

    AP Zone: A 45-day season may beheld between November 15 and January31, with a 2-bird daily bag limit.

    Massachusetts:NAP Zone: A 60-dayseason may be held between October 1and January 31, with a 2-bird daily baglimit. Additionally, a special seasonmay be held from January 15 toFebruary 15, with a 5-bird daily baglimit.

    AP Zone: A 45-day season may beheld between the fourth Saturday in

    October (October 22) and January 31,with a 3-bird daily bag limit.

    New Hampshire:A 60-day season maybe held statewide between October 1and January 31, with a 2-bird daily baglimit.

    New Jersey:Statewide: A 45-dayseason may be held between the fourthSaturday in October (October 22) and

    January 31, with a 3-bird daily bag limit.Special Late Goose Season Area: An

    experimental season may be held indesignated areas of North and SouthNew Jersey from January 15 to February15, with a 5-bird daily bag limit.

    New York:NAP Zone: BetweenOctober 1 and January 31, a 60-dayseason may be held, with a 2-bird daily

    bag limit in the High Harvest areas; anda 70-day season may be held, with a 3-

    bird daily bag limit in the Low Harvestareas.

    Special Late Goose Season Area: Anexperimental season may be held

    between January 15 and February 15,with a 5-bird daily bag limit indesignated areas of Chemung, Delaware,Tioga, Broome, Sullivan, Westchester,Nassau, Suffolk, Orange, Dutchess,Putnam, and Rockland Counties.

    AP Zone: A 45-day season may beheld between the fourth Saturday inOctober (October 22) and January 31,with a 3-bird daily bag limit.

    RP Zone: A 70-day season may beheld between the last Saturday inOctober (October 29) and February 15,with a 5-bird daily bag limit.

    North Carolina:SJBP Zone: A 70-dayseason may be held between October 1and December 31, with a 2-bird daily

    bag limit, except for the Northeast HuntUnit and Northampton County, which isclosed.

    RP Zone: A 70-day season may beheld between October 1 and February15, with a 5-bird daily bag limit.

    Northeast Hunt Unit: A 15-dayexperimental season may be heldconcurrent with the season selected forthe Back Bay Area of Virginia. Theseasonal bag limit is 1 bird.

    Pennsylvania:SJBP Zone: A 70-dayseason may be held between the secondSaturday in October (October 8) andFebruary 15, with a 2-bird daily baglimit until January 14 and a 5-bird daily

    bag limit between January 15 andFebruary 15.

    Pymatuning Zone: A 35-day seasonmay be held between October 1 and

    January 31, with a 1-bird daily bag limit.

    RP Zone: A 70-day season may beheld between November 15 andFebruary 15, with a 5-bird daily baglimit.

    AP Zone: A 45-day season may beheld between the fourth Saturday inOctober (October 22) and January 31,with a 3-bird daily bag limit.

    Special Late Goose Season Area: Anexperimental season may be held from

    January 15 to February 15, with a 5-birddaily bag limit.

    Rhode Island:A 60-day season maybe held between October 1 and January31, with a 2-bird daily bag limit. Anexperimental season may be held indesignated areas from January 15 toFebruary 15, with a 5-bird daily baglimit.

    South Carolina:In designated areas, a

    70-day season may be held duringNovember 15 to February 15, with a 5-bird daily bag limit.

    Vermont:A 45-day season may beheld between the fourth Saturday inOctober (October 22) and January 31,with a 3-bird daily bag limit.

    Virginia:SJBP Zone: A 40-day seasonmay be held between November 15 and

    January 14, with a 2-bird daily bag limit.Additionally, an experimental seasonmay be held between January 15 andFebruary 15, with a 5-bird daily baglimit.

    AP Zone: A 45-day season may be

    held between November 15 and January31, with a 2-bird daily bag limit.

    RP Zone: A 70-day season may beheld between November 15 andFebruary 15, with a 5-bird daily baglimit.

    Back Bay Area: A 15-dayexperimental season may be held duringthe last 15 days of the AP Zone seasonwith a 1-bird daily bag limit.

    West Virginia:A 70-day season maybe held between October 1 and January31, with a 3-bird daily bag limit.

    Light Geese

    Season Lengths, Outside Dates, andLimits: States may select a 107-dayseason between October 1 and March10, with a 15-bird daily bag limit and nopossession limit. States may split theirseasons into three segments, except inDelaware and Maryland, where,following the completion of their duckseason, and until March 10, Delawareand Maryland may split the remainingportion of the season to allow huntingon Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, andSaturdays only.

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    Brant

    Season Lengths, Outside Dates, andLimits: States may select a 30-dayseason between the Saturday nearestSeptember 24 (September 24) and

    January 31, with a 2-bird daily bag limit.States may split their seasons into twosegments.

    Mississippi FlywayDucks, Mergansers, and Coots

    Outside Dates: Between the Saturdaynearest September 24 (September 24)and the last Sunday in January (January29).

    Hunting Seasons and Duck Limits: 60days, except that the season forcanvasbacks may not exceed 30 days,and season splits must conform to eachStates zone/split configuration for duckhunting. The daily bag limit is 6 ducks,including no more than 4 mallards (nomore than 2 of which may be females),

    3 mottled ducks, 2 scaup, 1 black duck,1 pintail, 1 canvasback, 2 wood ducks,and 2 redheads. A single canvasbackmay also be included in the 6-bird daily

    bag limit for designated youth-huntdays.

    Merganser Limits:The daily bag limitis 5, only 1 of which may be a hoodederganser. In States that includemergansers in the duck bag limit, thedaily limit is the same as the duck baglimit, only one of which may be ahooded merganser.

    Coot Limits:The daily bag limit is 15coots.

    Zoning and Split Seasons:Alabama,

    Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky,Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio,Tennessee, and Wisconsin may selecthunting seasons by zones.

    In Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky,Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee,and Wisconsin, the season may be splitinto two segments in each zone.

    In Arkansas, Minnesota, andMississippi, the season may be split intothree segments.

    Geese

    Split Seasons:Seasons for geese maybe split into three segments. Three-way

    split seasons for Canada geese requireMississippi Flyway Council and U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service approval anda 3-year evaluation by each participatingState.

    Season Lengths, Outside Dates, andLimits:States may select seasons forlight geese not to exceed 107 days, with20 geese daily between the Saturdaynearest September 24 (September 24)and March 10; for white-fronted geesenot to exceed 72 days, with 2 geesedaily or 86 days with 1 goose daily

    between the Saturday nearest September

    24 (September 24) and the Sundaynearest February 15 (February 12); andfor brant not to exceed 70 days, with 2

    brant daily or 107 days with 1 brantdaily between the Saturday nearestSeptember 24 (September 24) and

    January 31. There is no possession limitfor light geese. Specific regulations forCanada geese and exceptions to the

    above general provisions are shownbelow by State. Except as noted below,the outside dates for Canada geese arethe Saturday nearest September 24(September 24) and January 31.

    Alabama:In the SJBP Goose Zone, theseason for Canada geese may not exceed50 days. Elsewhere, the season forCanada geese may extend for 70 days inthe respective duck-hunting zones. Thedaily bag limit is 2 Canada geese.

    Arkansas:In the Northwest Zone, theseason for Canada geese may extend for33 days, provided that one segment ofat least 9 days occurs prior to October

    15. In the remainder of the State, theseason may not exceed 23 days. Theseason may extend to February 15, andmay be split into 2 segments. The daily

    bag limit is 2 Canada geese.Illinois:The total harvest of Canada

    geese in the State will be limited to80,600 birds. The daily bag limit is 2Canada geese. The possession limit is 10Canada geese.

    (a) North ZoneThe season forCanada geese will close after 86 days orwhen 16,000 birds have been harvestedin the Northern Illinois Quota Zone,whichever occurs first.

    (b) Central ZoneThe season forCanada geese will close after 86 days orwhen 20,600 birds have been harvestedin the Central Illinois Quota Zone,whichever occurs first.

    (c) South ZoneThe season forCanada geese will close after 86 days orwhen 8,200 birds have been harvestedin the Southern Illinois Quota Zone,whichever occurs first.

    Indiana:The season for Canada geesemay extend for 70 days, except in theSJBP Zone, where the season may notexceed 50 days. The daily bag limit is2 Canada geese.

    Iowa:The season may extend for 70

    days and may be split into 3 segmentsin each zone. The daily bag limit is 2Canada geese.

    Kentucky:(a) Western ZoneTheseason for Canada geese may extend for66 days (81 days in Fulton County), andthe harvest will be limited to 10,300

    birds. Of the 10,300-bird quota, 6,700birds will be allocated to the BallardReporting Area and 2,600 birds will beallocated to the Henderson/UnionReporting Area. If the quota in eitherreporting area is reached prior to

    completion of the 66-day season, theseason in that reporting area will beclosed. If the quotas in both the Ballardand Henderson/Union reporting areasare reached prior to completion of the66-day season, the season in thecounties and portions of counties thatcomprise the Western Goose Zone(listed in State regulations) may

    continue for an additional 7 days, not toexceed a total of 66 days (81 days inFulton County). The season in FultonCounty may extend to February 15. Thedaily bag limit is 2 Canada geese.

    (b) Pennyroyal/Coalfield ZoneTheseason may extend for 50 days. Thedaily bag limit is 2 Canada geese.

    (c) Remainder of the StateTheseason may extend for 50 days. Thedaily bag limit is 2 Canada geese.

    Louisiana:The season for Canadageese may extend for 9 days. During theseason, the daily bag limit is 1 Canadagoose and 2 white-fronted geese with a72-day white-fronted goose season or 1white-fronted goose with an 86-dayseason. Hunters participating in theCanada goose season must possess aspecial permit issued by the State.

    Michigan:(a) MVPUpper and LowerPeninsula ZonesThe total harvest ofCanada geese will be limited to 50,000

    birds for these zones combined. Theframework opening date for all geese isSeptember 16 and the season for Canadageese may extend for 28 days. The daily

    bag limit is 2 Canada geese.(1) Allegan County GMUThe

    Canada goose season will close after 25days or when 1,500 birds have been

    harvested, whichever occurs first. Thedaily bag limit is 2 Canada geese.

    (2) Muskegon Wastewater GMUTheCanada goose season will close after 25days or when 500 birds have beenharvested, whichever occurs first. Thedaily bag limit is 2 Canada geese.

    (b) SJBP ZoneThe frameworkopening date for all geese is September16 and the season for Canada geese mayextend for 28 days. The daily bag limitis 2 Canada geese.

    (1) Saginaw County GMUTheCanada goose season will close after 50days or when 2,000 birds have been

    harvested, whichever occurs first. Thedaily bag limit is 1 Canada goose.(2) Tuscola/Huron GMUThe Canada

    goose season will close after 50 days orwhen 750 birds have been harvested,whichever occurs first. The daily baglimit is 1 Canada goose.

    (c) Southern Michigan GMUA 30-day special Canada goose season may beheld between December 31 andFebruary 7. The daily bag limit may notexceed 5 Canada geese.

    (d) Central Michigan GMUA 30-dayspecial Canada goose season may be

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    held between December 31 andFebruary 7. The daily bag limit may notexceed 5 Canada geese.

    Minnesota:(a) West Zone(1) West Central ZoneThe season for

    Canada geese may extend for 40 days.The daily bag limit is 1 Canada goose.

    (2) Remainder of West ZoneTheseason for Canada geese may extend for40 days. The daily bag limit is 1 Canadagoose.

    (b) Northwest ZoneThe season forCanada geese may extend for 40 days.The daily bag limit is 1 Canada goose.

    (c) Remainder of the StateTheseason for Canada geese may extend for70 days. The daily bag limit is 2 Canadageese.

    (d) Special Late Canada GooseSeasonA special Canada goose seasonof up to 10 days may be held inDecember, except in the West CentralGoose zone. During the special season,the daily bag limit is 5 Canada geese,

    except in the Southeast Goose Zone,where the daily bag limit is 2.

    Mississippi:The season for Canadageese may extend for 70 days. The daily

    bag limit is 3 Canada geese.

    Missouri:(a) Southeast ZoneTheseason for Canada geese may extend for77 days. The season may be split into3 segments, provided that at least 1segment occurs prior to December 1.The daily bag limit is 3 Canada geesethrough October 31 and 2 Canada geesethereafter.

    (b) Remainder of the State(1) North ZoneThe season for

    Canada geese may extend for 77 days,with no more than 40 days occurringafter November 30. The season may besplit into 3 segments, provided that 1segment of at least 9 days occurs priorto October 16. The daily bag limit is 3Canada geese through October 31, and 2Canada geese thereafter.

    (2) Middle ZoneThe season forCanada geese may extend for 77 days,with no more than 40 days occurringafter November 30. The season may besplit into 3 segments, provided that 1segment of at least 9 days occurs priorto October 16. The daily bag limit is 3

    Canada geese through October 31, and 2Canada geese thereafter.(3) South ZoneThe season for

    Canada geese may extend for 77 days.The season may be split into 3segments, provided that at least 1segment occurs prior to December 1.The daily bag limit is 3 Canada geesethrough October 31 and 2 Canada geesethereafter.

    Ohio:The season for Canada geesemay extend for 60 days in the respectiveduck-hunting zones, with a daily baglimit of 2 Canada geese, except in the

    Lake Erie SJBP Zone, where the seasonmay not exceed 40 days and the daily

    bag limit is 2 Canada geese. A specialCanada goose season of up to 22 days,

    beginning the first Saturday afterJanuary 10, may be held in the followingCounties: Allen (north of U.S. Highway30), Fulton, Geauga (north of Route 6),Henry, Huron, Lucas (Lake Erie Zone

    closed), Seneca, and Summit (Lake ErieZone closed). During the special season,the daily bag limit is 2 Canada geese.

    Tennessee:(a) Northwest ZoneTheseason for Canada geese may not exceed72 days, and may extend to February 15.The daily bag limit is 2 Canada geese.

    (b) Southwest ZoneThe season forCanada geese may extend for 59 days, atleast 9 of which must occur before Oct.16. The daily bag limit is 2 Canadageese.

    (c) Kentucky/Barkley Lakes ZoneThe season for Canada geese may extendfor 59 days, at least 9 of which must

    occur before Oct. 16. The daily bag limitis 2 Canada geese.(d) Remainder of the StateThe

    season for Canada geese may extend for70 days. The daily bag limit is 2 Canadageese.

    Wisconsin:The total harvest ofCanada geese in the State will be limitedto 62,500 birds.

    (a) Horicon ZoneThe frameworkopening date for all geese is September16. The harvest of Canada geese islimited to 21,000 birds. The season maynot exceed 92 days. All Canada geeseharvested must be tagged. The daily baglimit is 2 Canada geese, and the season

    limit will be the number of tags issuedto each permittee.

    (b) Collins ZoneThe frameworkopening date for all geese is September16. The harvest of Canada geese islimited to 800 birds. The season maynot exceed 65 days. All Canada geeseharvested must be tagged. The daily baglimit is 2 Canada geese, and the seasonlimit will be the number of tags issuedto each permittee.

    (c) Exterior ZoneThe frameworkopening date for all geese is September16. The harvest of Canada geese islimited to 40,700 birds, 500 of which are

    allocated to the Mississippi RiverSubzone. The season may not exceed 92days, except in the Mississippi RiverSubzone, where the season may notexceed 72 days. The daily bag limit is2 Canada geese. In that portion of theExterior Zone outside the MississippiRiver Subzone, the progress of theharvest must be monitored, and theseason closed, if necessary, to ensurethat the harvest does not exceed 40,200

    birds.Additional Limits: In addition to the

    harvest limits stated for the respective

    zones above, an additional 4,500 Canadageese may be taken in the Horicon Zoneunder special agricultural permits.

    Quota Zone Closures:

    When it has been determined that thequota of Canada geese allotted to theNorthern Illinois, Central Illinois, andSouthern Illinois Quota Zones in

    Illinois; the Ballard and Henderson-Union Subzones in Kentucky; theAllegan County, Muskegon Wastewater,Saginaw County, and Tuscola/HuronGoose Management Units in Michigan;and the Exterior Zone in Wisconsin willhave been filled, the season for takingCanada geese in the respective zone(and associated area, if applicable) will

    be closed, either by the Director upongiving public notice through localinformation media at least 48 hours inadvance of the time and date of closing,or by the State through State regulationswith such notice and time (not less than48 hours) as they deem necessary.

    Central Flyway

    Ducks, Mergansers, and Coots

    Outside Dates:Between the Saturdaynearest September 24 (September 24)and the last Sunday in January (January29).

    Hunting Seasons and Duck Limits:

    (1) High Plains Mallard ManagementUnit (roughly defined as that portion ofthe Central Flyway which lies west ofthe 100th meridian): 97 days, exceptcanvasbacks and pintails, which maynot exceed 39 days, and season splits

    must conform to each State(s zone/splitconfiguration for duck hunting. Thedaily bag limit is 6 ducks, including nomore than 5 mallards (no more than 2of which may be hens), 1 mottled duck,1 pintail, 1 canvasback, 2 redheads, 2scaup, and 2 wood ducks. The last 23days may start no earlier than theSaturday nearest December 10(December 10). A single canvasback andpintail may also be included in the 6-

    bird daily bag limit for designatedyouth-hunt days.

    (2) Remainder of the Central Flyway:74 days, except canvasbacks and

    pintails, which may not exceed 39 days,and season splits must conform to eachStates zone/split configuration for duckhunting. The daily bag limit is 6 ducks,including no more than 5 mallards (nomore than 2 of which may be hens), 1mottled duck, 1 pintail, 1 canvasback, 2redheads, 2 scaup, and 2 wood ducks.A single canvasback and pintail mayalso be included in the 6-bird daily baglimit for designated youth-hunt days.

    Merganser Limits:The daily bag limitis 5 mergansers, only 1 of which may bea hooded merganser. In States that

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    include mergansers in the duck dailybag limit, the daily limit may be thesame as the duck bag limit, only one ofwhich may be a hooded merganser.

    Coot Limits:The daily bag limit is 15coots.

    Zoning and Split Seasons: Kansas(Low Plains portion), Montana,Nebraska (Low Plains portion), New

    Mexico, Oklahoma (Low Plains portion),South Dakota (Low Plains portion),Texas (Low Plains portion), andWyoming may select hunting seasons byzones.

    In Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, NewMexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, SouthDakota, Texas, and Wyoming, theregular season may be split into twosegments.

    In Colorado, the season may be splitinto three segments.

    Geese

    Split Seasons: Seasons for geese may

    be split into three segments. Three-waysplit seasons for Canada geese requireCentral Flyway Council and U.S. Fishand Wildlife Service approval, and a 3-year evaluation by each participatingState.

    Outside Dates: For dark geese, seasonsmay be selected between the outsidedates of the Saturday nearest September24 (September 24) and the Sundaynearest February 15 (February 12). Forlight geese, outside dates for seasonsmay be selected between the Saturdaynearest September 24 (September 24)and March 10. In the Rainwater Basin

    Light Goose Area (East and West) ofNebraska, temporal and spatialrestrictions consistent with theexperimental late-winter snow goosehunting strategy endorsed by the CentralFlyway Council in July 1999 arerequired.Season Lengths and Limits: Light Geese:States may select a light goose seasonnot to exceed 107 days. The daily baglimit for light geese is 20 with nopossession limit.

    Dark Geese: In Kansas, Nebraska,North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota,and the Eastern Goose Zone of Texas,States may select a season for Canadageese (or any other dark goose speciesexcept white-fronted geese) not toexceed 95 days with a daily bag limit of3. Additionally, in the Eastern GooseZone of Texas, an alternative season of107 days with a daily bag limit of 1Canada goose may be selected. Forwhite-fronted geese, these States mayselect either a season of 72 days with a

    bag limit of 2 or a 86-day season witha bag limit of 1.

    In South Dakota, for Canada geese inthe Big Stone Power Plant Area of

    Canada Goose Unit 3, the daily bag limitis 3 until November 30, and 2 thereafter.

    In Montana, New Mexico andWyoming, States may select seasons notto exceed 107 days. The daily bag limitfor dark geese is 5 in the aggregate.

    In Colorado, the season may notexceed 95 days. The daily bag limit is3 dark geese in the aggregate.

    In the Western Goose Zone of Texas,the season may not exceed 95 days. Thedaily bag limit for Canada geese (or anyother dark goose species except white-fronted geese) is 3. The daily bag limitfor white-fronted geese is 1.

    Pacific Flyway

    Ducks, Mergansers, Coots, CommonMoorhens, and Purple Gallinules

    Hunting Seasons and Duck Limits:Concurrent 107 days, except that theseason for canvasbacks may not exceed60 days, and season splits must conformto each States zone/split configuration

    for duck hunting. The daily bag limit is7 ducks and mergansers, including nomore than 2 female mallards, 1 pintail,1 canvasback, 3 scaup, and 2 redheads.A single canvasback may also beincluded in the 7-bird daily bag limit fordesignated youth-hunt days.

    The season on coots and commonmoorhens may be between the outsidedates for the season on ducks, but notto exceed 107 days.

    Coot, Common Moorhen, and PurpleGallinule Limits: The daily bag andpossession limits of coots, commonmoorhens, and purple gallinules are 25,

    singly or in the aggregate.Outside Dates: Between the Saturday

    nearest September 24 (September 24)and the last Sunday in January (January29).

    Zoning and Split Seasons: Arizona,California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah,and Washington may select huntingseasons by zones.

    Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada,Oregon, Utah, and Washington maysplit their seasons into two segments.

    Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, andWyoming may split their seasons intothree segments.

    Colorado River Zone, California:Seasons and limits shall be the same asseasons and limits selected in theadjacent portion of Arizona (SouthZone).

    Geese

    Season Lengths, Outside Dates, andLimits: California, Oregon, andWashington: Except as subsequentlynoted, 100-day seasons may be selected,with outside dates between the Saturdaynearest October 1 (October 1), and thelast Sunday in January (January 29).

    Basic daily bag limits are 4 light geeseand 4 dark geese, except in California,Oregon, and Washington, where thedark goose bag limit does not include

    brant.Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana,

    Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, andWyoming: Except as subsequentlynoted, 107-day seasons may be selected,

    with outside dates between the Saturdaynearest September 24 (September 24),and the last Sunday in January (January29). Basic daily bag limits are 4 lightgeese and 4 dark geese.

    Split Seasons: Unless otherwisespecified, seasons for geese may be splitinto up to 3 segments. Three-way splitseasons for Canada geese and white-fronted geese require Pacific FlywayCouncil and U.S. Fish and WildlifeService approval and a 3-yearevaluation by each participating State.

    Brant Season

    Oregon may select a 16-day season,Washington an 8-day season, andCalifornia a 15-day season. Days must

    be consecutive. Washington andCalifornia may select hunting seasons

    by up to two zones. The daily bag limitis 2 brant and is in addition to darkgoose limits. In Oregon and California,the brant season must end no later thanDecember 15.

    Arizona:The daily bag limit for darkgeese is 3.

    California:Northeastern Zone: Thedaily bag limit is 4 geese and mayinclude no more than than 1 cacklingCanada goose or 1 Aleutian Canada

    goose and 2 white-fronted geese.Southern Zone: In the Imperial

    County Special Management Area, lightgeese only may be taken from the endof the general goose hunting seasonthrough the first Sunday in February(February 5).

    Balance-of-the-State Zone: Limits maynot include more than 4 geese per day,of which not more than 3 may be white-fronted geese. In the Sacramento ValleySpecial Management Area (West), theseason on white-fronted geese must

    begin no earlier than the last Saturdayin October and end on or before

    December 14, and the daily bag limitshall contain no more than 2 white-fronted geese.

    Oregon:Except as subsequentlynoted, the dark goose daily bag limit is4, including not more than 1 cackling orAleutian goose.

    Harney, Klamath, Lake, and MalheurCounty Zone: For Lake County only, thedaily dark goose bag limit may notinclude more than 2 white-frontedgeese.

    Northwest Special Permit Zone:Except for designated areas, there will

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    be no open season on Canada geese. Inthe designated areas, individual quotaswill be established that collectively willnot exceed 165 dusky geese. See sectionon quota zones. In those designatedareas, the daily bag limit of dark geeseis 4 including not more than 2 cacklingor Aleutian geese.

    Closed Zone: All of Tillamook

    Cou


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