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Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois duck, goose details encouraging

August 21, 2009 at 02:09 PM

Below is a summary of data from various surveys and reports regarding waterfowl heading into the 2009-2010 hunting seasons.

If you want to read everything, here are the sources from which the summary was drawn.

StatusReport2009_Final.pdf

Trend_Report_2009.pdf

2009_MVP_Survey_Memo_25jun09.pdf

DUCKS

Surveys in the traditional duck breeding areas of northern U.S. and Canada counted 42 million ducks compared to 37.2 million last year.  This is 13% higher than last year and 25% above the long term average (1955-2008). 

Mallards – 8.5 million,  10% increase over last year and 13% above the long-term average, highest count since 2000

Green-winged teal (important duck in IL bag after mallards) – 3.4 million,  similar to last year and 79% above long-term average, record population since 1955

Blue-winged teal (used to set teal regulations) – 7.4 million,  similar to last year and 60% above long-term average, 2nd highest count ever recorded,  16-day teal season will be approved this year

Pintails (species of concern) – 3.2 million,  23% above last year and 20% below the long-term average, bag limit depends on average latitude of breeding population, the further south the better and conditions were best to the south

Canvasbacks (season was closed last year) – 0.7 million,  35% above last year and similar to long-term average,  season should be open this year

Scaup (species of concern, differential bag limits last year) – 4.2 million,  similar to last year and 18% below long-term average,  highest count since 1999,  we may get 45 days with a bag limit of 2 and 15 days with a bag limit of one this year

MAY PONDS

Total Ponds (U.S. + Canada) – 6.4 million,  45% above last year and 31% above long term average

Canada Ponds (used directly to set duck regulations) – 3.6 million,  17% above last year and similar to average

U.S. Ponds – 2.9 million,  108% above last year and 87% above long term average,  record number of ponds since surveys in U.S. began in 1974

Based on the above it appears certain that we will get a 60-day duck season.  The official AHM report that selects duck season length will not usually be out until the last week in July or so.

CANADA GEESE

MVP Canada Geese (comprise about half the geese shot in IL during the regular season) – 581,232 total geese, below 2008 estimate of 626,358 but only 3% below 1989-2008 average.

MVP breeding population – 239,631 compared to 305,191 last year.  This is 35% below the 1989-2008 average and is the lowest ever recorded.  Very late spring resulted in too much snow and ice during breeding season over most of the coast which is where highest nest densities occur.  Hunting for MVP geese will be more difficult because of low number of young expected.  MVP harvest regulations experiment calls for no change unless breeding population falls below 225,000 so we are likely to keep our regular Canada goose season structure, same as last year.

Illinois Giant Canada Geese - The 2009 survey produced a population estimate of 133,550 compared to 138,300 and 105,000 in 2008 and 2007, respectively.  Results of the 2009 survey indicate that the statewide population likely is somewhere between 96,750 and 170,350 geese.
Banding results give us an idea of productivity of Illinois giants.
West-central IL
2.49 immatures/adult (2009) = 22% above 5-year average
2.04 immatures/adult (5-yr average)
Northeast IL
1.53 immatures/adult (2009) = 10% above 5-year average
1.39 immatures/adult (5-yr average)

 

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