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Lake life

Learn more about ducks

You want to learn more about ducks? What’s the future of duck hunting in Louisiana? What changes are we looking at? There’s a great workshop coming up to answer those questions.

Waterfowl migration patterns and trends will be the subject of free training workshops scheduled in the north Louisiana area on Oct. 17, Oct. 21 and Oct. 22 in West Monroe, Ruston and Bossier City.

West Monroe will host the first workshop on Thursday, Oct. 17 beginning at 11 a.m. at the LSU Ag Center, 704 Cypress St. (lunch will be provided for early registrants, but since we just heard about this one, I’m a little late letting you in on that!)

Ruston’s opportunity will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21 in the Lincoln Parish Public Safety Complex, 161 Road Camp Rd. The Bossier City event kicks off at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22 at Bossier Parish Community College, 6220 East Texas St., Building F, room 203.

Information on how to sign up is listed on the poster above.

Larry Reynolds with the La. Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries will be the featured speaker at the informational sessions and will discuss waterfowl populations, hunting regulations, hunter activities, harvests and challenges facing waterfowl and sportsmen. 

Here’s what Larry plans to cover:

“I will review the population status for a variety of species and explain what that means for next year’s hunting regulations (2020-21).  I will discuss some changes, both from the Flyway and federal legislation, that may affect our hunting regulations in 2020-21, as well as a pilot study that will change the way hunters in our state register with HIP.  I will talk about changes in zones/splits options and how we have until July 1 to decide which option we will select for the 2021-2025 seasons, a process that will include the big Waterfowl Hunter Survey that we do every 5 years.  I will review last season’s harvest data from both Louisiana and the Mississippi flyway and talk about the factors influencing our (and the entire Flyway’s) extremely poor hunting success last year, and how that may affect our hunting success this year.

But the big issue is shifting winter distributions and how they are already affecting our hunting success.  If you want a preview, you can look at the latest issue of Louisiana Conservationist at: http://laconservationist.wlf.la.gov/  Very few people read this magazine anymore, so I’m going to bring hard-copies for people at the meetings.  I’ll review some of the data showing shifts in distribution and some potential factors driving it.  Lastly, I’ll touch on the Non-breeding Waterfowl Distribution Working Group that was formed at the Flyway meeting last March to revisit some past scientific analyses (like changes in band-recovery distributions), expand existing work (winter-severity influences on winter movements), and initiate some new analyses (like quantifying flyway-level habitat changes, including the hot topic of flooded, un-harvested corn).”

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