Good news for next season-

Discussion in 'California Flyway Forum' started by JRS, Dec 17, 2016.

  1. blackdog58

    blackdog58 Elite Refuge Member

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    This pintail matrix has been on the look at, concern, figuring it out or why list for the longest time. I know CWA has talked about it, put resources towards it, raised money for it, studied it. Now if this was talked about in the preceding pages I apologize because frankly I skipped through them all. But if not, I'd like to know where this stands with the organization now. I'm sure a lot of others would as well.
     
  2. thekillerofmallard

    thekillerofmallard Elite Refuge Member

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    CWA responded a few pages back.
     
  3. Speckslayer

    Speckslayer Elite Refuge Member

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    Here it is again...
    The pintail limit is an issue CWA has been working on for a long time. While we have successfully pushed for liberalization of seasons and bag limits for most other waterfowl species in CA, pintail continue to be a challenge. We share your frustrations over lack of real progress.

    Each year, we attend the Pacific Flyway meeting(s) and talk directly with top staff of the USFWS’s Migratory Bird Program about the huge importance of pintail to CA hunters and many hunters’ desire to raise the limit. We have pointed out that conservative regulations on pintail haven’t really helped the population, and that its highly unlikely that we will ever see the same high pintail populations that we enjoyed in the 1970s.

    CWA has invited USFWS Migratory Bird staff to participate in our annual Regulations and Traditions meetings to provide updates on pintail and answer questions from CWA members, which they have taken time out of their busy schedules to do over the last several years. We have also worked on this issue with other conservation groups and have discussed it many times as well with DFW, which is California’s representative on the Pacific Flyway Council.

    We asked the Service that the harvest strategy for pintail be revisited and then ultimately revised to allow for more hunter opportunity. USFWS has agreed to make AHM revision work for pintail a priority (as noted in their own documents), but other priorities and limited funding/staff have been major, ongoing problems. Other hang ups include resistance from other states which support the current pintail harvest strategy. Although CA winters more pintail than any other state by far, its still a resource that is shared with other flyways and states.

    The current strategy was adopted largely due to states’ desires to avoid closed seasons or seasons within seasons on pintail. A survey of CA hunters at about that time also seemed to support this approach. http://www.sanjoaquinguideservice.com/California_Hunting_Regulations/Results of Online Pintail Hunting Regulations Survey.pdf

    Here is a link to the AHM strategy adopted in 2010 https://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/pdf/management/AHM/NorthernPintailHarvestStrategy.pdfNote:

    “The proposed adaptive harvest management protocol was adopted by the USFWS and Flyway Councils in June 2010 with implementation beginning with the 2010-2011 hunting season. The derived strategy differs from previous harvest strategies for northern pintails in that it: (1) is based on an explicit harvest management objective, (2) eliminates the partial season and 3-bird bag limit regulatory management options, (3) determines the annual regulatory choice based on a formal optimization process that finds the state-dependent solution to best achieve the harvest management objectives, and (4) allocates harvest on a national rather than Flyway-by-Flyway basis, with no explicit attempt to achieve a particular allocation of harvest among Flyways. Otherwise the proposed, derived harvest strategy incorporates the same system models as the prescribed strategy.”

    The reason the bag limit was reduced for the 2017/18 season was due to significantly lower pond counts, including in the Prairie Pothole region, and significantly fewer pintail counted in key breeding areas (especially those at the southern end of the breeding range). https://flyways.us/sites/default/files/uploads/2017_ahm_report.pdf Note:

    “For pintails, optimal regulatory strategies for the 2017 hunting season were calculated using: (1) an objective of maximizing long-term cumulative harvest, including a closed-season constraint of 1.75 million birds, (2) current pintail regulatory alternatives, and (3) current population models and their relative weights. Based on a liberal regulatory alternative with a 2-bird daily bag limit selected in 2016, the 2016 survey results of 2.62 million pintails observed at a mean latitude of 58.6 degrees, the optimal regulatory choice for the 2017
    hunting season for all four Flyways is the liberal regulatory alternative with a 1-bird daily bag limit.”

    CWA and DFW have banded over 26,000 pintail during both preseason and postseason banding programs since 2006. Of that 26,000, CWA has banded over 16,000.

    CWA will continue to look for ways to help the Service get the resources (both public and private) it needs for data gathering, scientific analysis and other necessary work to revise the pintail harvest strategy in a way that promotes hunter opportunity. When we travel back to Washington D.C. in February, we plan to meet with the new USFWS Director and members of the California delegation on this very issue. We will make sure to provide any important updates in our enews and magazine.
     
  4. Specktacular

    Specktacular Senior Refuge Member

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    In other words, they just don't get it or they don't care to get it. They refuse to acknowledge the facts--that bag limits play absolutely no role in the population. Incidentally, that was a terrible poll. How about this question for CA hunters.

    Knowing that bag limits play absolutely no role in pintail populations and that a liberal bag limit would have absolutely no impact on the future of pintail populations in the nation, would you support a reduced bag limit of 1 pintail?
    A. Yes
    B. No
     
  5. Speckslayer

    Speckslayer Elite Refuge Member

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    And the Feds would have laughed at you and thrown it away. The Feds are in charge and if you want to have a chance at getting what you want, you have to play within their rules.
     
    mudhen likes this.
  6. oneshot maybe

    oneshot maybe Elite Refuge Member

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    Regarding CA having more drakes than hens, when I lived in SW Wa, we would usually see 10 hens for every drake. At that time, I remember reading somewhere that the sexes migrated at different times. I have no idea if this is accurate, just throwing it out there. I do know that as I travel around throughout the year, I see alot of pintail nesting in areas that are traditionally not considered normal pintail nesting habitat such as the high desert regions of southern oregon.
     
  7. thekillerofmallard

    thekillerofmallard Elite Refuge Member

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    Stop with the bag limits have no role population. If they didn't why is there a bag limit on any duck. The bag limits are set so they don't have a effect on pop.
    I do agree one or two bird bag limit is useless to control pop.
    Two hen mallards is also crazy with the mallard population.
    Wigs,Gaddies,Teal all have less pop but we can kill 7 hens.
     
  8. Squaller

    Squaller Elite Refuge Member

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    I do agree that we need bag limits...

    But in the context of the discussion, I would argue that with pintail, going anywhere from 0 to 7 bird bag limit on pintail would likely make little difference in population growth or decline.

    We put bag limits in place to manage our wildlife, but in the case of pintail, it is my understanding, that the greatest limiting factor is breeding grounds.

    You have 2 million birds ready to breed at the end of the season, but only enough breeding area for 500,000 to breed, the population expansion or recession is limited by that breeding area.

    I would also think that with limited breeding area available, that you would have more crowded breeding conditions, and due to high concentrations of birds in smaller areas, there would likely be more predation.

    I am not a biologist though, and would certainly be open to hearing about the opinions and facts from someone more educated and qualifed than myself.
     
    thekillerofmallard likes this.
  9. Mean Gene

    Mean Gene Elite Refuge Member Flyway Manager

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    Finally in a free state.
    Unless you can get the other flyways to buy in your bitching is in vain.
     
  10. thekillerofmallard

    thekillerofmallard Elite Refuge Member

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    Gene our bitching only helps us vent.
    Marc I agree with ya on breeding grounds and bag limits.
    I do believe EVERYONE knows population is controlled by breeding condition not number of birds at this point.
    Why the Feds try to control numbers by small bag limit changes I haven't a clue.
     

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