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seaduck zone off shore waterfowl zone?

Discussion in 'Chesapeake Flyway Forum' started by carolina girl, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. carolina girl

    carolina girl Elite Refuge Member

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    So, after Jan.13.......I can still go out into the seaduck zone, which is now the offshore waterfowl zone after Jan.13, and kill seaducks for the remainder of the regular duck season?
     
  2. jhomyack

    jhomyack New Member

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    don't take the bolds the wrong way here, just highlighting the important points

    The sea duck zone is closed to sea duck hunting after January 13
    . Sea ducks(scoters, long-tailed ducks/old squaw, eiders) may not be killed in the sea duck zone after Jan 13, 2017. You can NOT set up inside the sea duck zone after January 13th, shoot sea ducks, and claim them as part of a different bag. Sea duck season is closed in this zone after the Jan 13th, 2017....there is no "work around". Obviously its a switch from years past, but you should think of this closing date, the same as you would any other closing date.

    You can kill sea ducks as part of your "regular" daily duck bag limit outside the sea duck zone after the SPECIAL sea duck season closes. This may be in the offshore waterfowl hunting zone where it is NOT overlapped by the sea duck zone (such as the Susquehanna Flats), a shore blind, etc....

    You can still hunt and shoot "regular" ducks (non-sea ducks) anywhere in the offshore waterfowl hunting zone for the remainder of the "regular duck" season. You cannot kill a sea duck in the sea duck zone after January 13th.

    You may not ever kill more than 5 sea ducks a day (no more than 4 scoters, 4 long-tails, 4 eiders). This is the daily bag limit inside the sea duck zone during the special sea duck season and it is listed in regulation as a subset of the "regular" duck daily bag limit....same as 2 pintails, 3 woodies, 2 scaup, etc.....

    I don't mean to preach here because I know most of us know the process, but please remember all the above was included in the Federal Frameworks released by the USFWS, to the states last December (2016). Many other Atlantic Flyway states have sea duck zones and special sea duck seasons and this applies to them as well. These changes were part of the proposed seasons that were available for public review/comment last spring, finalized, then published early summer 2016.

    Again I know its confusing stuff.....we'll continue to answer questions in as best we can.
     
  3. carolina girl

    carolina girl Elite Refuge Member

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    ...but, the seaduck zone is also the off shore waterfowl zone, it over laps the entire center of the bay.

    This doesn't make any sense. Or, I'm totally misunderstanding it.

    I can continue to hunt seaducks until the end of the regular waterfowl season, so long as I adhere to the daily bag limits of the regular duck season to which seaducks are included.
     
  4. carolina girl

    carolina girl Elite Refuge Member

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  5. carolina girl

    carolina girl Elite Refuge Member

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    As I'm reading it, the only thing this special season does, is allow a hunter to shoot a dalily bag of regular ducks and shoot a daily bag of seaducks, until jan.13, then just a single bag of ducks (period) is allowed until the end of regular duck season.
     
  6. carolina girl

    carolina girl Elite Refuge Member

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    If the department (of any kind) is interested in protecting or better regulating seaducks, it needs to establish what a sea duck is (which it already has) and that's it! Sea ducks are no longer allowed to be harvested after Jan.13.....period. No old squaws, no scoters....no Eiders......regardless of where your hunting.....period!

    Hunters are already required to determine what a black duck is (near impossible sometimes)....what a redhead is, what a wood duck is....what a canvasback is......the difference between a blackhead and a ringneck.......and so on. Distinguishing a sea duck is no different, and no quarter should be given.

    Seasons over Jan. 13 for longtails, scoters and Eiders....period!!!
     
  7. jhomyack

    jhomyack New Member

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    Yes the zones do in large part overlap, however the sea duck zone, in effect, supersedes the offshore waterfowl hunting zone. The special sea duck season allows the harvesting of sea ducks in the sea duck zone. When the sea duck season is closed in that zone, scoters/long-tailed ducks/eiders are no longer in season within that zone and may not be harvested. If you are hunting within the boundaries of the sea duck zone after Jan 13th, your daily bag may not include sea ducks.

    This change closes a large part of the offshore waters to sea duck hunting and is intended to reduce harvest from years previous....not just in MD but throughout the flyway. There certainly are always other ways to regulate sea duck harvest (or any other game species for that matter), besides those defined by current regulation, however these seasons and zones were derived from the frameworks the states were given to work with, run through the process, and are in place for the current season. As you know, everyone will have the opportunity to comment (public meeting/DNR webpage, fax, etc...) on the proposed seasons for next year. We look forward to hearing how these changes affected everyone during the current season.....we do use this information to tweak things (within the guidelines provided by the Federal Frameworks) all the time.

    Again, I don't mean to get too preachy but in a nutshell thats how this all works, make changes when you think necessary, see how the critters and hunters respond, plug those responses in, then adapt the regs accordingly where you can.

    For the here and now, I just want to make sure we all understand the changes and can stay on the right side of things for the rest of the season. I appreciate the opportunity to answer questions here, and hope it has been helpful to some. Good luck and stay safe.
     
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  8. carolina girl

    carolina girl Elite Refuge Member

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    j,
    So, the offshore waterfowl zone is now closed after Jan.13th?

    Seaducks are part of the regular duck season daily bag limit and the offshore waterfowl zone is the entire bay just about.
     
  9. carolina girl

    carolina girl Elite Refuge Member

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    What I see, is the only places that you can not hunt seaducks, are the mariginal areas that extend into the mouths of creeks and rivers where the offshore zone does not, example....up into the chester, Eastern bay and the choptank.

    I can still gun seaducks 800yds off shore of Chesapeake beach until the end of the regular ducks season, just count as my daily bag of regular ducks.
     
  10. Scotty

    Scotty Elite Refuge Member

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    Chris- no the offshore zone does not close after Jan 13- just the sea duck zone.


    They are two separate zones. Examples of this include the Susquehanna flats which is offshore zone but not sea duck zone- sinepuxent bay above south point which is offshore zone but not sea duck zone- fishing bay also.

    If the two zones overlap- like they do in a lot of the bay south of the bay bridge- you can still hunt and shoot any duck that is not considered a sea duck which include long tails, eiders, and scorers. Blue bill, canvasback, goldeneye, bufflehead, ruddy, ring necked, mallard, black duck, both teal, shovelers, gadwalls, wigeon, pintails can all be shot in the offshore Zone. If the area you are hunting is just offshore zone and does not overlap the sea duck zone- than it appears you can shoot sea ducks and they count towards your regular duck limit the way it is explained. This could occur in a place like the flats or sinepuxent bay where it is offshore zone only.

    Keep in mind, if the sea duck zone doesn't overlap the offshore zone- it would not be legal at anytime to shoot any duck that is not considered a sea duck. This is why the MDWFA helped to get the waters
    of Dorchester, somerset, and wicomico counties added to the offshore zone- because only sea ducks were legal in the waters of tangier sound,
    Pocomoke sound, fishing bay, monie bay, and the rivers.
     

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