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Commissioners to consider waterfowl recommendations, two-tier duck bag limit

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will consider 2021-2022 waterfowl hunting season recommendations at its March 17 meeting in Norfolk. The meeting begins at 8 a.m. in the Lifelong Learning Center, 701 E. Benjamin Ave.

Among the recommendations is a proposal for a “two-tier” duck bag limit option a hunter will choose from for the season.

Nationally, duck hunter numbers have fallen nearly 44% since 1990, and Nebraska has lost, on average, 464 duck hunters per year since 1990. A recent survey conducted by Game and Parks; South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks; and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has determined that duck identification skills are a major factor preventing potential hunters from picking up the sport.

Nebraska has been given federal authority to implement an experimental system related to bag limits. The new season options are an effort to make getting into hunting easier for novice duck hunters.

When hunters register for their Harvest Information Program number, they will choose between two options. Tier I is the current traditional six-duck limit with species and sex restrictions. Tier II allows hunters to harvest three ducks of any kind. Once a tier is selected, it may not be changed during the season.

If also adopted by South Dakota, the state would join Nebraska in the five-year pilot program.

The full 2021-2022 Nebraska waterfowl recommendations are:

Early Teal – Low Plains: Sept. 4-19; High Plains: Sept. 4-12; Daily bag limit: six; Possession limit: Three times the daily bag limit

Youth Hunt – Zone 1: Oct. 9-10; Zone 2: Oct. 2-3; Zone 3: Oct. 16-17; Zone 4: Oct. 16-17; Daily bag: Tier 1: six ducks, with restrictions; Tier II: three ducks, any species, any sex; Possession limit: Three times the daily bag limit

Duck and Coot – Zone 1: Oct. 16-Dec. 28; Zone 2: Oct. 9-Dec. 21 and Jan. 5-26; Zone 3: Oct. 23-Jan. 4 and Jan. 5-26; Zone 4: Oct. 23-Jan. 4; Daily bag: Tier 1: six ducks, with restrictions; Tier II: three ducks, any species, any sex; Possession limit: Three times the daily bag limit

Dark Goose – Platte River Unit: Oct. 28-Feb. 9; Niobrara Unit: Oct. 28-Feb. 9; North Central Unit: Oct. 11-Jan. 23; Daily bag limit: five; Possession limit: Three times the daily bag limit

White-fronted Goose – Statewide: Oct. 9-Dec. 19 and Jan. 25-Feb. 9; Daily bag limit: two; Possession limit: Three times the daily bag limit

Light Goose Regular Season – Statewide: Oct. 9-Jan. 5 and Jan. 25-Feb. 9; Daily bag limit: 50; Possession limit: none

Light Goose Conservation Order – East Zone: Feb. 10-April 15; West Zone: Feb. 10-April 5; Rainwater Basin Zone: Feb. 10-April 5; Daily bag and possession limits: none

Crow – Statewide: Oct. 15-Dec. 15 and Jan. 13-March 14

Falconry – Concurrent with teal, youth and regular duck season dates, plus, Zone 1: Feb. 25-March 10; Zone 2: Low Plains: Feb. 25-March 10; High Plains: Concurrent with all duck season dates in High Plains Zone; Zone 3: Low Plains: Feb. 25-March 10; High Plains: Concurrent with all duck season dates in High Plains Zone; Zone 4: Feb. 25-March 10

The commissioners also will consider staff recommendations to:

• amend Administration Regulations relating to permit fees. The proposed changes include establishing a special season landowner deer permit for residents and nonresidents, establishing fees for big game and paddlefish preference/bonus point purchases in lieu of draw, removing the resident aquatic invasive species registration fee and increasing the boat registration fees, and eliminating the duplicate/replacement fee on all permits except deer, antelope, elk, turkey, mountain lion and paddlefish;

• rename Looking Glass Creek Wildlife Management Area in Platte County;

• adopt Phase II of the Lake McConaughy/Lake Ogallala Master Plan, which would create rate structures for weekday and weekend camping, and create a fee for beach camping;

• adopt fee increases for select state park area activities, lodging and rental facilities; and

• increase the Cash Change Fund, to assist with operations and events, and accommodate shower house coin requirements, at several locations in the state park system.

A complete agenda is available at OutdoorNebraska.gov/commissioners.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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