CWA Hunter's Forum

Mike Riley

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CWA to Host Duck Hunter's Forum  
      CWA is sponsoring a Duck Hunter's Forum to address the plight of the waterfowler in California. The waterfowling community is invited to this special, no cost event.

    The forum will be held Saturday, June 16th at the CSU, Sacramento Alumni Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    The forum is an opportunity for waterfowlers to express their thoughts and perceptions about current waterfowl hunting issues. The last two waterfowl seasons have seen an apparent decline in the number of waterfowl taken, and the number of waterfowl seen in California during the duck season. In spite of predictions of record fall flights of waterfowl, liberal bags, and long seasons, we continue to see serious declines in California's huntable waterfowl.

Some of the foreseeable discussion topics include:

The weather during duck season
Winter-flooded rice stubble
Too much sanctuary
Moto/Robo ducks (effects, impact, and possible regulation)
Timing of season, season length, and the outlook for next season
Reduced hunting on Lower Klamath and Tule Lake NWRs
    Panel guests will include Dan Yparguirre, senior wildlife biologist with California Department of Fish and Game; Greg Mensik, wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Tim Griffiths, CWA Biologist; Bill Gaines, Director of Government Affairs, CWA; Tim Johnson, executive director of the California Rice Commission; and others. Although the panel will make brief introductory remarks, the meeting will focus on listening to the opinions and observations of the waterfowl community.
 

jerry d

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Just my luck - leaving on vacation back to the land of Ya'll June 15th.

If I were able to attend I would suggest the season start and end 2 week later. This would give us an opportunity to catch the storms that invariably arrive the two weekends after the season closes but if I remember correctly these last two weeks would be outside of the Fed. guidelines issued to the states.

Another "wish" I would have would be if the season is to be reduced due to decline in population - take the reduction off the front end of the season or even have a split season.

Thanks for setting this up CWA. And to think some thought Mike Riley was blowing smoke after he brought this up on the old Calif. Hunting and Fishing Forum.

Ye of little faith, and you know who you are, say, "Sorry Mike".
 

Duck Fan

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Unfortunately, that is my daughter's college graduation day, so I will also miss this event.  I am really sorry I won't be able to make it.  Some thoughts I would have expressed (in more detail) would include:

1.  Seasons - have them as late in the "season" as possible, starting later, ending later.

2.  As a Trial, consider rotating some of the closed zones for hunting.  Have specific areas open on a rotating basis, and close others areas usually hunted.  Just try it - maybe at just one refuge and see if it helps to distribute birds.

3.  Moto type decoys - Have we studied their effect outside the Sac valley?  There are parts of the state that do not primarily hunt mallards.  Since mallards seem to be the bird everyone links to the motos, do we need to study how they affect hunting at refuges that consistently harvest birds other than mallard before we make a decision on them?  What is CA DFG doing in cooperation with other states to understand the effects (i.e.: if CA bans them and Oregon/Washington, etc does not?).  Are we just trying to protect the local nesting Sac valley mallards if other states continue their use?  


Anyway, I would love to have been able to attend and discuss these in more detail, as well as other issues.  I hope that even though that weekend is a big graduation weekend for schools that CWA will get a large turn out.  
 

Jay

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Personally I wouldn't mind a total mallard limit. For instance: 2 hen mallards but no more than 4 mallards total. Since most of the mallards are local birds it would seem reasonable to have cap on the number of mallards you can shoot. It would also have side benefit of spreading out the pressure among the various species of ducks.  


(Edited by Jay at 3:39 pm on May 18, 2001)
 

Scank

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The later you start the season the more "rot" water we will encounter. Remember last season when everyone was excited during the first few weeks. I remember people saying they were bagging more birds then the previous year. That's because all the rice fields were not flodded yet.
No weather and to much water = poor season. It will be like this forever if the "rot" water problem is not solved. You watch, this meeting will end up being a debate over the moto. The CWA is obsessed with this issue.
 

MQ

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I'm with you Jay. I'd be happy enough with a 4 mallard, two sprig and a widgeon or gad or teal limit on my stringer. If everyone keeps hammering just mallards, what do you think will happen (moto or not)?
 

MQ

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Scank may actually have a valid point, for once. Some of my best shoots came during the drought years, when the refuges were one of the only places with water. Of course that tended to raise the cholera/botulism problems.
 

Megadeth

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Thanks Riley, I will be attending also. Hopefully we'll get thru the bickering and into the real issues. I'm pushing for a later season and a cap on the mallard take from seven to four. I would also like to see more brood ponds in the off season. With conservative efforts to preserve our favorite bird,we will benefit in the long run! I believe brood ponds will keep our local populations increasing over a period of several years,and then who knows. It could possibly be boosted back up to seven mallards a day!
 

Jay

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Yerp.

With "Lake Sacramento" now a semi-permanent fixture we got habitat for 20 million birds in the north valley. Only about 5 million birds hang in the valley during the winter so do the math. It's definitely a "duck's market". Toss in no storms in December and January and you get a lousy duck season..... moto or no moto. Same thing would happen if we magically rolled back time to before the valley was drained for agriculture. I don't think anybody (including DU) imagined that "rot" water would catch on so fast.

So we have a few options:
1. Live with lousy duck seasons until the duck populations in the north valley rise to 20 million or so. Which could be a long wait.

2. Find alternatives for rice stubble that are more profitable than "rot" water. Although you'll then find yourself fighting against DU and the Nature Conservancy.
3. Provide incentives for farmers to allow hunting on flooded fields. Although they want that poop to help with the rotting.
 

grizz

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Well I'am glad to see this happen.  But I won't be there so here's what I think.  Don't shorten the season. I would rather see the robo and all electronics ban than lower the mallard limit.  Yes electronics work but.  If you can't kill ducks without the robo or duck butts or what ever to f-ing bad there's always the jerk line.
    As far as rot water, none should be subsidized!  Dam farmers get to much subsidizeing already.   Make the farmers pay if they choose too flood earlyer than the rains come.  And if it don't rain than they can flood in Jan.  Three months of flooding should be enough Jan/Mar.  That way the only rice fields flooded in Oct will be the ones flooded by hunting $$
   To much sanctuary, hell yes there is.  All these new midagation areas are no hunting while the area their replaceing might not have been. there needs to be a balance there and there's not. Thats why I don't belong to CWA or DU seems like all I see them involved in these days is non hunting or non-public hunting habitat projects.
   As far as season timing, the season would be a week longer if it weren't for the JR hunt.  Let the season go through Jan. than have the JR hunt the first of Feb.  JMO
 

Duck Fan

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Earlier in this thread, I asked a question and don't think I saw any answer.  Mike Riley - do you know:  here it is:  Moto type decoys - Have we studied their effect OUTSIDE the Sac valley?  There are parts of the state that do not primarily hunt mallards.  Since "local" mallards seem to be the bird everyone links to the motos, do we need to study how they affect hunting at refuges that consistently harvest birds other than mallards before we make a decision on them?  Also, What is CA DFG doing in cooperation with other states to understand the effects (i.e.: if CA bans them and Oregon/Washington, etc does not?).  Regardless of the moto issue, I am seriously wondering if birds outside the Sac valley were studied.  And, if this was answered somewhere I just didn't see, then I apologize...thanks.
 

jerry d

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Fair question Duck Fan. I don't remember seeing an answer either.

Since a DF&G biologist said sprig was the bird most susceptable to moto seems a study would have been conducted in an area where sprig is one of the predominate birds taken. But since the limit on sprig already reflects measures to aid the population maybe they're not concerned.
 

Mike Riley

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DFG looked at data from the Suisun Marsh & the Grassland's refuges as well as the Sac Valley concerning moto.  As far as the SoCal refuges - I don't believe they studied those areas (never seen any data from there, but don't know for sure).  In my opinion, you are correct, those areas don't harvest enough mallards to be of concern.  I don't know if and/or what CA DFG is looking at with regards to other states, but I do know USFWS is accutely aware of moto and has stated it will manage through AHM (shorter seasons).  For AHM to kick in the Mid-cont. mallard population would have to decrease.  Mid-cont. may or may not being having problems like the more localized Pacific Flyway (CA) population of mallards.    Also as far as sprig, Jerry d is right the, the limit keeps moto's effectiveness in check.  Sure hope mallard to end up with a simsiliar limit.
 

steve

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Later season,rotate closed zones.I like the idea of those farmers getting water early that they would have to tie into the refuge system.Even though I dont think that would work with liability,and being able to control access with the wardens available.
 
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