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Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov [SL]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — Aug. 20, 2004

TPWD Adopts Waterfowl Seasons

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas waterfowlers in the South Zone will have additional opportunities this fall for blue-winged teal and chances to hunt other early migrants like black-bellied whistling ducks.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department approved today a migratory bird hunting season framework that includes for the first time an early opening split in the South Zone on Sept. 27-Oct. 3. The South Zone will reopen Nov. 13 and close Jan. 18, 2005. Pintail and canvasback may be taken from Dec. 11-Jan. 18 and the youth-only season is set for Oct. 30-31.

The decision to create an early split that follows immediately after the conclusion of the Sept 18-26 teal season was made based on recommendations by the department’s Game Bird Advisory Board, whose members are appointed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Commission Chairman.

"Department waterfowl program staff had identified this as a potential option and proposed it for the purpose of looking at ways to better include the growing population of black-bellied whistling ducks in the hunting season. Whistling ducks tend to migrate into Mexico before the November season opens, and are currently not legal during the normal teal season, said Vernon Bevill, Program Director."

The North Zone duck season opening split is set for Nov. 6-28 and will reopen Dec.11-Jan. 30. The youth-only season will run Oct. 30-31 and pintail and canvasback season will run Dec. 23-Jan. 30. In the High Plains Mallard Management Unit, the season will include an Oct. 23-24 for the youth-only season and the regular season will run Sept. 27-Oct. 4 and Oct. 30-Jan. 25. The pintail and canvasback season will run Dec. 18-Jan. 25.

The daily bag limit for all ducks is six and may include no more than five mallards (two hens), two redheads, three scaup, two wood ducks, and one mottled duck. One pintail, and one canvasback would be allowed during the 39-day season set in each zone.

As for geese, TPWD officials have simplified the season structure this year by eliminating the north and south segments in the East Zone and overlapping with the duck season as much as possible. The Eastern Goose Zone will run Nov. 6-Jan. 30 with a daily bag limit of 3 Canada, 2 white-fronted and 20 light geese.

The Western Goose Zone will run Oct. 30-Feb. 1 with a daily bag limit of 3 Canada, 1 white-fronted and 20 light geese.

The Light Goose Conservation Order would start at the close of the regular goose seasons and run through March 27.

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