By LEN ACKERMAN
AFTER TWO lackluster years, waterfowl hunters are not getting much encouragement from the experts for the
Extremely dry conditions along the western continent,
all the way into Alberta, Canada, add up to poor nesting conditions and, therefore, poor production.
Central Canada and the Dakotas fared much better and should have good production of new birds. However, most of those will migrate down the Central Flyway while only a small percentage will filter down into the Pacific Flyway. Drought in Alberta has been so bad that farmers are foregoing the use of fertilizer on their crops. Historically, this area is the most
important breeding ground for northern pintail.
Mallard production in California is also reported to be down by about 17 percent.
While this news is discouraging, waterfowl hunters should not consider throwing in the towel just yet.
There have been past seasons when forecasts were not encouraging, yet ideal weather conditions more than made up for any shortage of birds.
AT A JUNE 15 meeting of the California Fish and Game Commission, some regulatory changes for the 2001-02 season were proposed:
Minor boundary changes to the Northeast zone;
Changes in the dark goose closure zone;
A change in the dates of falconry season to clarify a past flaw;
Listing approved shot options by name rather than simply stating only steel or non-toxic shot.
Also, four proposals stem from the predicted decline in Californias homebred mallard population:
Eliminating the use of moto-duck decoys completely;
Eliminating moto-ducks prior to December;
Allowing moto-ducks but reducing the mallard limit to three birds, of which only one could be a hen.