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Waterfowl hunters get another maximum-length season

Oregon waterfowl hunters will see their record run of long duck seasons reach 15 this fall as yet another maximum-length hunting season awaits.

Solid 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 means Oregon will continue its full goose season, with hunting dates staggered around the state.

The seasons, based on frameworks crafted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, were adopted Friday in Salem by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission.

The duck and merganser season opens Oct. 8 and runs through Nov. 27 in Zone 2, which includes Klamath and Lake counties, as well as most of Eastern Oregon. After a short break, hunting resumes Nov. 30 and runs through Jan. 2.

Duck hunting in Jackson County and the rest of Western Oregon opens Oct. 15 and runs until Oct. 23. Hunting then reopens Oct. 26 and runs through Jan. 29. The daily limit remains seven ducks.

As in past years, the season sports 105 shooting days for adult waterfowl hunters, with two days set aside for the annual federal waterfowl youth hunt set for Sept. 24-25.

Southwest Oregon's goose-hunting season opens on the same day as duck season, but it halts Dec. 2 and resumes Dec. 10. Goose hunting locally will end on the same day as duck season, as well.

Klamath County's goose season opens Oct. 8 and runs through Nov. 27 before it takes a brief hiatus and reopens Dec. 17 and runs through Jan. 17. The late season will open Feb. 18 and run through March 10.

The limits remain four dark and six white geese a day. However, the restrictions banning hunters from killing cacklers and Aleutians is lifted this year in Klamath, Lake and Malheur counties.

The commission set the seasons based on a traditional framework that backloads hunting dates to focus more effort in January and less in October.

The staggered seasons are designed to make better use of weather conditions for hunting in the different zones.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted Friday to adopt a permanent daily bag limit of eight trout per day at Diamond Lake, where anglers this year have been fishing under a temporary eight-fish limit.

The limit is three fish larger than the standard five-trout daily limit, but it keeps in place the eight-inch minimum, and only one of the eight can be longer than 20 inches.

The high limit is a result of concerns by biologists that trout numbers at the eastern Douglas County lake are near the maximum set for the lake's management plan, and they want anglers to catch and keep more fish.

National elk-calling champion Dieter Kaboth will be in Medford on Saturday, Aug. 20, to discuss game-calling and hunting tactics during a free elk-hunting seminar that will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Black Bird Shopping Center, 1810 W. Main St.

Kaboth will be in town as part of the Hunter's Specialties seminar series. For more information, call 541-779-5431.

The Medford Chapter of Ducks Unlimited is taking reservations for its fundraising banquet and auctions set for Sept. 29 in Medford.

This year's attendees will be included in a national raffle for a bull elk hunt for two on a 50,000-acre private ranch in New Mexico.

The banquet will take place at the Ramada Inn, 2250 Biddle Road. Doors open at 5 p.m., with dinner at 7 p.m.

DU chapter fundraisers provide the lion's share of funds for the group's habitat projects. The national organization spends about $3 million annually on habitat projects in Oregon.

For more information about how to donate to the event or buy tickets, call Ed Santa Maria at 541-690-1520 or Clark Bonner at 541-218-7331.

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