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Waterfowl Hunting Zones and Splits for the 2011 – 2015 Seasons Paul Link LWF Commission 2/8/2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Waterfowl Hunting Zones and Splits for the 2011 – 2015 Seasons Paul Link LWF Commission 2/8/2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Waterfowl Hunting Zones and Splits for the 2011 – 2015 Seasons Paul Link LWF Commission 2/8/2011

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3 Zone/Split Season Guidelines: Zones and Split Seasons can only be changed at 5 year intervals.Zones and Split Seasons can only be changed at 5 year intervals. The selection this year will be used for the next 5 duck hunting seasons ( ).The selection this year will be used for the next 5 duck hunting seasons ( ). A decision is needed by JulyA decision is needed by July

4 Fish and Wildlife Service Options Two zones with the option for split seasons Two zones with the option for split seasons in one or both zones. in one or both zones. Three zones with straight seasons (no splits). Three zones with straight seasons (no splits). No zones with up to 2 season splits (3 season No zones with up to 2 season splits (3 season segments) segments) Proposed for 2011: 4 zones with straight seasons (no splits). 4 zones with straight seasons (no splits). 3 zones with the option for split seasons in any of 3 zones with the option for split seasons in any of those zones

5 What if we choose a new option? … we requested that the National Flyway Council develop explicit human dimensions objectives related to expanding zone and split options and a study plan to evaluate the effect of the proposed action in achieving those objectives. We expect the study plan will include hypotheses and specific predictions about the effect of changing zone/split criteria on stated human dimensions objectives, and monitoring and evaluations that would be used to test those predictions. Paul Schmidt, Chairman of USFWS Regulations Committee, 1/25/2011

6 Human Dimensions Data 2005 Hunter Opinion Survey: 53% favored current 2 zones with split seasons53% favored current 2 zones with split seasons 41% favored no zones with 2 splits (3 season segments)41% favored no zones with 2 splits (3 season segments) 6% favored 3 zones with straight seasons (no splits)6% favored 3 zones with straight seasons (no splits)

7 Human Dimensions Data 2010 Hunter Opinion Survey: Random Mail-out Sample 34% favored 2 zones with split seasons.34% favored 2 zones with split seasons. 17% favored new North and South zones with split seasons.17% favored new North and South zones with split seasons. 30% favored no zones with 2 splits (3 season segments).30% favored no zones with 2 splits (3 season segments). 20% had no opinion or didnt care.20% had no opinion or didnt care Hunter Opinion Survey: Internet Sample 36% favored 2 zones with split seasons.36% favored 2 zones with split seasons. 23% favored new North and South zones with split seasons.23% favored new North and South zones with split seasons. 28% favored no zones with 2 splits (3 season segments).28% favored no zones with 2 splits (3 season segments). 13% had no opinion or didnt care.13% had no opinion or didnt care.

8 Human Dimensions Data Recent Internet Solicitation: 61 contacts 54% favored 2 zones with split seasons.54% favored 2 zones with split seasons. 33% favored no zones with 2 splits (3 season segments).33% favored no zones with 2 splits (3 season segments). 11% favored 3 zones with split seasons.11% favored 3 zones with split seasons. 2% favored no zones with split seasons.2% favored no zones with split seasons.

9 General Issues to Consider Potential hunting season length over the next 5 years is 60, 45 or 30 days.Potential hunting season length over the next 5 years is 60, 45 or 30 days. Duck seasons must be open during the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years holidays.Duck seasons must be open during the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years holidays. Which option will provide the greatest flexibility?Which option will provide the greatest flexibility? Zones and split seasons are completely separate for ducks and geese.Zones and split seasons are completely separate for ducks and geese. What are we trying to accomplish, and what will be required for evaluation?What are we trying to accomplish, and what will be required for evaluation?

10 Specific Considerations Current 2 zones with split seasons: This arrangement has been used for 30 years and is familiar to hunters.This arrangement has been used for 30 years and is familiar to hunters. Allows hunters to hunt in both zones, thereby increasing hunting opportunities.Allows hunters to hunt in both zones, thereby increasing hunting opportunities. FlexibilityFlexibility

11 Specific Considerations No zones with 2 splits (3 season segments): Three opening days versus 2, but same total number of weekends (10) and 1 of those opening days might not be on a weekend.Three opening days versus 2, but same total number of weekends (10) and 1 of those opening days might not be on a weekend. 2 rest periods versus one.2 rest periods versus one. The opportunity to move across zones is eliminated.The opportunity to move across zones is eliminated. Less flexibility if season length is reduced.Less flexibility if season length is reduced.

12 Example: potential dates 2-zones/2-splits No zones/3-splits 2-zones/2-splits No zones/3-splits Nov 12 – Dec 4Nov 19 – Dec 4 Nov 12 – Nov 27 Dec 17 – Jan 22Dec 17 – Jan 29 Dec 10 – Jan 8 * Jan 16 – Jan 29 * Jan 16 – Jan 29 West Zone East Zone West Zone East Zone * Season opens on a Monday

13 Specific Considerations 3 zones with split seasons: Additional opportunity to hunt different zones.Additional opportunity to hunt different zones. Additional flexibility.Additional flexibility. Statement of objectives and study plan with methods to monitor and evaluate.Statement of objectives and study plan with methods to monitor and evaluate.

14 Example: Northwest LA zone

15 Justification?? Zone Week Southwest Southeast Northwest (46.7) 12.1 (44.6) 11.4 (41.6) (46.7) 12.1 (44.6) 11.4 (41.6) (47.1) 3.3 (46.2) 3.8 (52.0) (47.1) 3.3 (46.2) 3.8 (52.0) Chronology of Harvest: seasons:

16 Anticipated Time-line Options may not be finalized in time for adoption for the 2011 season.Options may not be finalized in time for adoption for the 2011 season. Public comment will be accepted at announced public meetingsPublic comment will be accepted at announced public meetings Department recommendations in July with opportunity for additional public commentDepartment recommendations in July with opportunity for additional public comment Decision at August LWF Commission meetingDecision at August LWF Commission meeting

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