L.W.F.C. Sets Tentative 2011-12 Migratory Waterfowl Season

Release Date: 08/04/2011

Aug.  4, 2011 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) voted to tentatively adopt proposed season dates, bag limits and shooting hours for the 2011-12 migratory waterfowl season at their Aug. 4 meeting.  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 West Zone, the first segment will open on Nov. 12 and close on Dec. 4.  The second segment will open on Dec. 17 and run through Jan. 22.  In the East Zone, the first segment will go from Nov. 19 to 27.  The second segment will last from Dec. 10 to Jan. 29.

A proposal to move the Youth waterfowl weekend to the weekend during the splits was revised by LDWF based on a majority of public comments received. Those comments favored keeping that weekend opportunity for youth prior to the season opening dates in both zones. The revised Youth waterfowl weekend dates proposed by the department and adopted by the commission are Nov. 5-6 in the West Zone and Nov. 12-13 in the East Zone.

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, two 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. 12 and close on Dec. 4.  The second segment in the West Zone will run from Dec. 17 to Feb. 5.  The first segment in the East Zone will open on Nov. 5 and run until Nov. 27.  The second segment will run from Dec. 10 to Jan. 29.  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. When the Canada goose season is open, the limit is two dark geese (white-fronted and Canada) of which no more than one can be a Canada goose.

The Canada goose season will be 44 days and run from Dec. 17 to Jan. 29 statewide, except for a small closure area in southwest Louisiana.  The daily limit for Canada geese is one in aggregate with white-fronted geese and the possession limit is two in aggregate with white-fronted geese.  So the daily bag limit will allow two dark geese (white-fronted and Canada geese), no more than one of which may be a Canada goose.

The Statewide Conservation Order for light geese will open in the West Zone on Dec. 5, and the first segment will close on Dec. 16.  The second segment in the West Zone will run from Feb. 6 to March 11.  The first segment in the East Zone will run from Nov. 28 to Dec. 9, and the second segment will be from Jan. 30 to March 11. 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 permitted.  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. 10 to 25 and again from Nov. 12 to Jan. 4.  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. 10 to 25 and again from Nov. 12 to Jan. 4.  The daily bag limit is 15 with a possession limit of 30.

Snipe may be taken in the West Zone first segment from Nov. 5 to Dec. 7 and from Dec. 17 to Feb. 28 in the second segment. In the East Zone, the first segment will run from Nov. 5 to 30 with a second segment running Dec. 10 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. 5 to Feb. 3.

For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.louisiana.gov.