CONTACT:
Edward Robinson: (603) 271-2461
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
August 5, 2008

Waterfowl Season Meeting Set for August 26, 2008

CONCORD, N.H. -- The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department will hold a public meeting on proposed season dates and bag limits for the 2008 waterfowl hunting season on Tuesday, August 26, 2008, at 6:30 p.m., at Fish and Game headquarters on Hazen Drive in Concord.  Comments at the meeting will be considered in finalizing New Hampshire's 2008 waterfowl season dates. 

This year's total duck population estimate from the traditional survey area in the prairies and parklands is 37.3 million birds, which is down 9% from last year's estimate of 42.2 million birds. The 2008 estimate is still 11% above the long-term average, according to Edward Robinson, N.H. Fish and Game's waterfowl biologist. 

"In eastern areas, habitat conditions were good to excellent for breeding waterfowl. Heavy winter snow left ponds and marshes full of water, and weather conditions were favorable for duckling survival. Breeding populations in the east were lower this year than last, but were near the long-term average," Robinson said.

Federal frameworks will allow for liberal waterfowl seasons in 2008.  There will be some species restriction changes. Pintail, scaup and canvasback numbers remain low, so additional restrictions are anticipated. The daily bag limits for pintail and scaup will be one bird per day, and the canvasback season will be CLOSED.  A number of duck species continue to do well, according to Robinson.  Wood duck populations continue to be in good shape.  As a result, in 2008, the daily wood duck bag limit will increase to 3 birds per day.

New Hampshire's proposed waterfowl season is very much like last year's.  N.H. Fish and Game is proposing a 60-day duck season with a 6-bird daily limit, and a 60-day Canada goose season with a 2-bird daily limit. Fish and Game also recommends continuing split seasons, including both ducks and Canada geese, in both the inland and coastal zones to allow early and late hunting opportunities:

  • The proposed Inland Zone waterfowl season (ducks, mergansers, coots, Canada geese) would open on October 2 and run through November 2; then reopen November 23 through December 20.

  • The proposed Coastal Zone season would open on October 3 and run through October 12; then reopen November 23 through January 11, 2009.

For more about waterfowl hunting in New Hampshire, visit www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_waterfowl.htm.

As the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department works in partnership with the public to conserve, manage and protect these resources and their habitats.

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