Waterfowl hunters can expect good news

Oregon's waterfowl hunters will see their record run of long duck and goose seasons reach 17 this fall with yet another maximum-length hunting season that could include some bag-limit changes.

Solid but not spectacular duck counts along the Pacific Flyway, as well as decent local duck production, means Oregon hunters again will have 107 days of duck hunting this fall and winter.

Similarly good goose counts will allow Oregon hunters to enjoy the maximum 107 days of goose hunting.

Those are the frameworks announced last week by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which sets the season parameters used by states to craft their hunting seasons.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, which sets the state's hunting seasons, is set to consider season dates when it meets today in Eugene.

Under the federal frameworks, states along the Pacific Flyway will be allowed to set goose seasons anywhere from Sept. 28 to March 10. The proposed basic daily bag limits are up to 10 white geese and six dark geese, but many exceptions occur state-to-state and it does not guarantee that Oregon will see that bag limit.

The duck season can begin as early as Oct. 5 and run as late as Jan. 26. The proposed daily limit is seven ducks. However, the scaup season will slip back to an 86-day season within the regular season.

Two hunting days again will be removed from the regular seasons on duck and goose hunting to allow for the youth waterfowl weekend.

There are no proposed changes from last year on mourning doves, band-tailed pigeons, coots, snipe and brant.

Based on federal frameworks, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is expected to propose a change in the possession limit from twice the daily limit to three times the daily limit.

Along with Oregon, other states within the Pacific Flyway are California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Washington and portions of Colorado, Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming.

Surveys conducted by the U.S.F.W.S. in parts of the United States and Canada show an estimated duck population of 45.6 million birds, down 6 percent from last year but still 33 percent above the long-term average, according to the service.

Oregon's breeding population was estimated at 267,000 ducks, down 3 percent from last year.

Fall chinook seminars set

The Middle Rogue Steelheaders will hold two free seminars on the nuances of fishing for fall chinook salmon on the Rogue River from a boat or the bank Saturday in Medford.

Chuck Closterman, the group's past president, will conduct the seminars beginning at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Sportsman's Warehouse, 1710 Delta Waters Road.

Along with boat- and bank-fishing techniques, Closterman will discuss bait rigs and when and where to fish. Information will also be available about the steelheaders' upcoming salmon derby set for Sept. 7 in Grants Pass.

For more information, call Cole Tidwell at 541-582-0350.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com.

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