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Waterfowl hunters have the opportunity to comment on proposed 2016 Iowa waterfowl seasons that were approved during the Jan. 20 meeting of the Natural Resource Commission of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The Commission also approved for public comment a proposal to change the waterfowl hunting zone boundaries for the 2017-2021 hunting seasons.
The Iowa DNR held six meetings around the state in October and November asking for hunter input on the season structure for 2016, and on the zones for next five year period.
The season proposal adjusts the dates to comply with the US Fish and Wildlife Service regulations and to begin the seasons on weekends. Based on hunter feedback, the DNR has proposed a nine day Special September Teal season in the north and south zone rather than the maximum 16 days, to allow youth waterfowl hunting seasons to occur prior to the regular duck season and allow ducks to have a two week period of calm before the regular duck season begins. A 16 day Special September Teal season is proposed for the Missouri River zone because the season would close three weeks before the regular duck season opens.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service allows states to make changes to their waterfowl hunting zone structure once every five years. The current zone structure was presented during the fall meetings with hunters, who indicated that they prefer the Missouri River Zone be kept and extended the length of the state west of Interstate 29 from Sioux City to the Missouri state line for ducks and geese. Except for the southern expansion of the Missouri River Zone, the North and South zones otherwise remain the same. Any changes to waterfowl hunting zones must be submitted to the US Fish and Wildlife Service by May 1.
The proposed waterfowl hunting seasons and zones will be the topic of a public meeting at 2 p.m., March 8, in the third floor conference room, Wallace State Office Building, in Des Moines. Any persons who intend to attend the meeting and have special requirements such as those related to hearing or mobility impairments, should contact the DNR and request specific accommodations.
Any interested person may make written suggestions or comments on the proposed amendments on or before March 8, 2016, by sending written comments to Orrin Jones, Wildlife Biologist, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 1203 North Shore Drive, Clear Lake, IA 50428, or by email at email@example.com. Persons may also convey their comments orally by contacting Jones at 641-357-3517 or by visiting the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife Station at 1203 North Shore Drive, in Clear Lake.
Proposed 2016-17 Migratory Game Bird Seasons
Special September Teal
North Zone: Sept. 3-11
South Zone: Sept. 3-11
Missouri River Zone: Sept. 3-18
Ducks, Mergansers and Coots
North Zone: Sept. 24-Oct. 2 and Oct. 15-Dec. 4
South Zone: Oct. 1-5 and Oct. 22-Dec. 15
Missouri River Zone: Oct. 8-9 and Oct. 22-Dec. 18
Youth Waterfowl Days
North Zone: Sept. 17-18
South Zone: Sept. 24-25
Missouri River Zone: Oct. 1-2
Dark Geese (Canada Geese, Brant, and White-fronted Geese)
North Zone: Sept. 24-Oct. 9 and Oct. 15-Jan. 4, 2017
South Zone: Oct. 1-16 and Oct. 22-Jan. 11, 2017
Missouri River Zone: Oct. 8-16 and Oct. 22-Jan. 18, 2017
Light Geese (White and Blue Phase Show Geese and Ross’ Geese)
North Zone: Sept. 24-Oct. 9 and Oct. 15-Jan. 13, 2017
South Zone: Oct. 1-16 and Oct. 22-Jan. 18, 2017
Special September Canada Goose Seasons
Designated Areas around Des Moines, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City and Cedar Falls/Waterloo: Sept. 3-11
Statewide Light Geese Conservation Order (White and Blue Phase Show Geese and Ross’ Geese): Jan. 19-April 15, 2017 (additional regulations apply)