The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) voted today to tentatively adopt proposed season dates, bag limits and shooting hours for the 2012-13 migratory waterfowl season. The dates will be ratified by a declaration of emergency from the Commission, after approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Following a comment period that began after the July commission meeting, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) recommended a 60-day season for ducks, coots and mergansers in the three zones in place for the 2012-13 hunting season. Shooting hours begin one-half hour before sunrise and extend until sunset.
In the West Zone, the first segment will open on Nov. 10 and close on Dec. 9. The second segment will open on Dec. 22 and run through Jan. 20. In the East Zone, the first segment will run from Nov. 17 to Dec. 2. The second segment will start Dec. 15 and end Jan. 27. In the new Coastal Zone, the first segment will open on Nov. 10 and close on Dec. 2, and the second segment will open on Dec. 15 and run through Jan. 20.
Youth waterfowl weekend hunts will be held Nov. 3-4 in the West and Coastal Zones, and Nov. 10-11 in the East Zone.
A proposal to move the youth waterfowl weekend to the end of the final hunting segment in the East Zone was not adopted due to public comments received in favor of the traditional pre-season dates normally provided for youth. Additionally, public comment asking for an East Zone opening segment with 16 days and second segment with 44 days was accommodated.
The daily bag limit on ducks is six and may include no more than four mallards (no more than two of which may be females), two pintails, one canvasback, one mottled duck, one black duck, three wood ducks, four scaup and two redheads.
The daily bag limit on coots is 15. The daily bag limit for mergansers is five, of which only two may be hooded mergansers. The merganser limits are in addition to the daily bag limit for ducks.
The possession limit on ducks, coots and mergansers is twice the daily bag limit.
Light geese and white-fronted geese will have a 74-day season. The first segment in the West Zone will open on Nov. 10 and close on Dec. 9. The second segment in the West Zone will run from Dec. 22 to Feb. 3. The first segment in the East Zone will open on Nov. 3 and run until Dec. 2. The East Zone second segment will run from Dec. 15 to Jan. 27. In the Coastal Zone, the season on light and white-fronted geese will be Nov. 10 to Dec.2 and Dec. 15 to Feb. 3. The daily bag limit on light geese is 20, with no possession limit. The daily limit on white-fronted geese is two, with a possession limit of four.
The Canada goose season will run concurrent with the light and white-fronted goose season, but close on Jan. 31 in the West and Coastal Zones, EXCEPT a small area in southwest Louisiana will remain closed. That closure zone includes the following area: Beginning at the Texas state line, proceeding east along Hwy 82 to the Calcasieu Ship Channel, then north along the Calcasieu Ship Channel to its junction with the Intracoastal Canal, then east along the Intracoastal Canal to its juncture with LA Hwy 82, then south along LA Hwy 82 to its juncture with Parish road 3147 to Freshwater Bayou Canal, then south to the Gulf of Mexico, then west along the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico to the Texas state line, then north to the point of beginning at LA Hwy 82. Open waters of Lake Arthur and the Mermentau River, from the Hwy 14 bridge southward, will also be closed to Canada goose hunting.
The daily limit for Canada geese is three in aggregate with white-fronted geese and the possession limit is six in aggregate with white-fronted geese. So the daily bag limit will allow three dark geese (white-fronted and Canada geese), no more than two of which may be white-fronted geese.
The Statewide Conservation Order for light geese will open the first segment in the West Zone on Dec. 10and run to Dec. 21, andthe second segment will run from Feb. 4 to March 9. The first segment in the East Zone will run from Dec. 3 to Dec. 14, and the second segment will run from Jan. 28 to March 9. The first segment in the Coastal Zone will run from Dec. 3 to 14, and the second segment from Feb.4 to March 9. During this time, only snow, blue and Ross geese may be taken and daily bag and possession limits are eliminated. The use of electronic calls and unplugged shotguns is allowed. Shooting hours during the Conservation Order begin one-half hour before sunrise and extend until one-half hour after sunset.
Rails may be taken from Sept. 15 to 30 and again from Nov. 10 to Jan. 2. For King and Clapper rails, the daily limit is 15 in the aggregate with a possession limit of 30. Sora and Virginia rails have a daily and possession limit of 25 in the aggregate.
Gallinule season will be open from Sept. 15 to 30 and again from Nov. 10 to Jan. 2. The daily bag limit is 15 with a possession limit of 30.
Snipe season will open in the West Zone with the first segment from Nov. 3 to Dec. 10, and the second segment from Dec. 22 to Feb. 28. In the East Zone and Coastal Zones, the first segment will run from Nov. 3 to Dec. 3, with a second segment running Dec. 15 to Feb. 28. The daily bag limit is 8 and the possession limit is 16.
An extended falconry season for ducks, rails and gallinules will take place from Nov. 3 to Feb. 1.
For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image courtesy Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries