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Discussion in 'Chesapeake Flyway Forum' started by Bwana1, Sep 20, 2018.
Does anyone else ever actually read what the USFW actually prints? I am not being a spoil sport, but who are we to believe! I heard that the 2017 hatch was also poor, yet this report from the DNR pages last fall emphatically states
"in conclusion, productivity of AP Canada Geese from the Ungava Peninsula in 2017 was very good" (2017 Summary)
A little further reading of this summer's report states that "The total population estimate (breeding pairs and grouped birds) was 738,800 (588,500– 889,100), similar to the 2017 estimate of 705,900 (562,600–849,300; � = 0.756). (https://www.mdwfp.com/media/255811/waterfowl-status-report2018_final.pdf)
So, What I am reading is that in 2017, the geese had a good breeding season and there was 705,990 birds and in 2018 the breeding was horrible and yet the estimate is 738,800 birds ... I am just using their numbers...
Furthermore, if Maryland hunters took 40% of the geese (176,000 total) indicated total harvest of the AP geese would be 293,333 birds... So according to these statistics, a total of 41% (293K birds/706K total population) was harvested by all states in the flyway... Simple analysis of the numbers indicates that the biologist
are not really looking at what is being published from year to year... the numbers alone would indicate that the population would have to have rebounded by 41% this summer...
Furthermore, the secret to the goose management we have been told is the number of breeding pairs. So a quick historical lesson:
Breeding surveys of key AP nesting areas in northern Québec documented a precipitous decline in
AP breeding numbers from 118,000 nesting pairs recorded in 1988 to 90,000 in 1993, 40,000 in 1994, and 29,000
pairs in 1995. This dramatic change in numbers of AP geese, greater than 75 percent in less than a decade, prompted
state, provincial, and federal wildlife agencies in 1995 to suspend the sport hunting season of AP geese (SOURCE:A MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR THE
ATLANTIC POPULATION OF CANADA GEESE March 2008)
as a follow up, this years dismal breeding pair number was 112,000 pairs last years banner breeding season was 161,000 pairs and in 1988 (which is touted as a good year - and it was I remember great 3 bird limit hunting through 1989) breeding pair count was 118,000.
So what I do know is that the geese had a horrible breeding season this year, but a good breeding season last year, yet the total number of birds is similar even though hunters knocked out about 40% of the birds over the 60 day season. Obviously, the harvest information is drastically incorrect in that they are assuming that all the birds that hunters kill are AP birds... I am guessing that we get a huge influx of resident birds in the late season when the majority of the geese in Maryland are harvested...
I am not sure what the biologist are thinking. Years ago this forum had a lot of knowledgeable bird biologist such as Larry Hindman ( now retired but I am betting still has his hand in it) or Bob Bloom, Jerry Serie ... they probably could have shed some light on the analysis of these numbers... it just doesn't add up.
OK I am done ranting....
2017 Summary: The timing of banding was just right in 2017 for both crews on the Ungava and Hudson Bay sides considering the size of the goslings captured. Despite less than perfect weather, banding operations in 2017 went fairly well along Ungava Bay with 821 adults and 1547 goslings banded (total 2368 geese) but not quite as well along Hudson Bay, with only 682 adults and 1054 goslings banded (total 1736 geese). Combining both regions, a total of 4104 geese were banded, and the preliminary Immature:Adult ratio (2601 juveniles/1503 adults) in our catches was 1.73, considerably higher than the combined long-term average of 1.43 (1997-2016). Such a high ratio has not been seen since 2008. In conclusion, productivity of AP Canada Geese from the Ungava Peninsula in 2017 was very good.
OK I lied... I am not done ranting... First off Maryland Hunters only accounted for 117,000 geese last year ( sorry for the math error)
Furthermore, according to the Maryland 2017 Mid winter bird survey,
The 641,200 Canada geese observed in this year’s survey was higher than the previous record of 608,000 in 1981.
An above average hatch by the Atlantic, or migratory, population Canada geese coupled with an influx of resident Canada
geese from states to the north of Maryland, most likely account for the record high count.
There is obviously alot going on that the biologist cannot easily graph or determine... If 60% of the total harvest was performed in states outside of Maryland that would indicate that they killed 175,000 AP Geese; I think that it would it be safe to say that the majority of those were killed before the birds left those states and migrated to Maryland ( just saying) so this would indicate that in the mid winter survey indicated that there was more geese total than the estimated population available at the beginning of the migration... Do the math... 641,000 geese at midwinter in Maryland plus the 175,000 harvested elsewhere ( i.e. did not make it to Maryland) plus 50% of Maryland harvest ( it was the midwinter survey) 58,000 birds would indicate that the total birds available on the AP flyway to be 871,000
before the shooting began. Mind you that this assumes that ALL CANADA GEESE on the AP flyway were in Maryland by mid winter which we know did not happen. The New York & Pennsylvania Hunters were knocking them down all winter as well. So obviously the "pool" of geese to harvest definitely contains geee from other sources.
After waterfowl hunting on the eastern Shore from the early 70's through my death ( yet to happen by the way); I feel that my personal observation over the years have some merit. Specifically, the geese that that Maryland hunters harvest in the first season and probably until it begins to snow up north are AP/Ungava geese - they are here because they migrated here, but as it freezes up north and our hunting gets better, I do not think we receive purely Ungava geese, but get alot of geese that are considered "resident" but are just actually just not in the Ungava strain. It is time for the DNR to start tracking the DNA of the geese in order to get a better handle on the migratory pattern.
Also if Maryland hunters are the stewards of the AP Geese, than the other states should be precluded from shooting any of our AP geese. AS stated, our Ungava Geese migrate over/through alot of those "resident zones" that are having liberal limits during the peak migration times.
OK now I am done for a while
As M.H.C. already posted on F.B., talking points and feed back from stakeholders & shareholders prior to A.F.C. meeting next week. I also attended the conference call, long meeting 1 1/2 hours. We now have new regulatory process that began a few years ago of season selection for 2019/2020, which is next week. I posted on the "Migrator" thread of 3 year cycle of AP stats (Bpop) 9/10/18, since my post the data is in and it much worse than anticipated.
So don't kill yourself on 2017 data yet; as you know I have always been a straight shooter and when time allows will in the blanks. We all collectively must understand the "science" so we can do our best for the resource.
Can you tell that I am very passionate about this subject.. I am the first person to go for the moratorium if everyone on the Atlantic Flyway has one... There should be NO CANADA GOOSE hunting of any population during the moratorium.
However, I believe that it boils down to one specific point, and that is that all of the geese harvested on the Eastern Shore are assumed to be of the AP/Ungava population which I strongly believe is not the case. I would anticipate that band returns are the only way in which Biologist have to track the birds, but that is a sloppy science ... As an example, soon after the moratorium was lifted, I was in a blind with nine of my good buddies enjoying a long awaited goose hunt. We quickly had a toll of a decent size flock of maybe 15-20 birds, of which we downed 10 as would be expected. Nine were banded! Nine were banded on the same day! Nine were banded at the same location! Obviously, we wiped out an entire family banded at the same time and place... As per statistics, the band return report based on those nine bands probably would indicated that thousands of birds had to be harvested to achieve that rate of returns... yet it was only one toll... there has to be a more accurate way to determine population distributions ( i,e, DNA testing)
Strongly agree that there should be no Canada goose hunting anywhere on the AF if there is a moratorium. If the season, limit is reduced, it should be the entire flyway.
If you ever banded, its dirty job, first time birds crap all on over my lap holding them to determine sex, then had to swim in a pond to clean my clothes. Anyway, when you corral a good size group of geese, often family groups, your decoyed group shared a banding study, they migrated together and died together. Banding in RP zones and AP zones determine specie grouping if AP or RP; We shot banded geese on Potomac, some bands from Canada, but RP zone in southern Quebec not Ungava.
The 1995 closure Maryland had RP Zones, all AF states had RP zones, these zones are local residents and some do receive RP migrates that are forced south due to weather. RP Zones are monitored for AP harvest; we as other AF States had to modify their zones over the years overlapping AP zone harvest regulations decreasing RP harvest rates.
You jumping the gun, no body has mention moratorium, MD DNR is proactive to maintain our wintering AP stocks, the meeting today was discussions of science and options; All were on the same page reviewing data and options. MD shares these AP's with Canada and our fellow AF states AP's fly over. We all share these birds but Maryland has a bigger stake in this as Chesapeake Region is their wintering ground.
Thank you for the info. I would hate to see a moratorium, but would understand that it could be necessary. I survived the last one, but it was a long 6 years.
RP zones need to go. There is no way they are not hammering migratory birds.
Also, ******** seasons in New York.