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Commissioners Approve Waterfowl Regulations

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Board of Commissioners approved regulations for the 2013 waterfowl hunting seasons Aug. 30 at their meeting in Valentine.

The regulations include increases in daily bag limits for teal (four to six), canvasbacks (one to two) and Canada geese (three to five), as well as a decrease in daily bag limit for scaup (six to two).

The possession limit for migratory game birds increases from two times the daily bag limit to three times the daily bag limit.

Changes also were made to light goose hunting, including a change in format of the Light Goose Conservation Order from three zones to two and a change in the buffer zone along the Platte River.

The following are the 2013 waterfowl, crow and falconry season dates and limits approved Aug. 30:

Early Teal – Low Plains: Sept. 7-22; High Plains: Sept. 7-15; daily bag/possessions limits, 6/18

Youth – Zone 1: Oct. 5-6; Zone 2: Sept. 28-29; Zone 3: Oct. 19-20; Zone 4: Sept. 28-29; daily bag/possessions limits same as duck season

Ducks and Coots – Zone 1: Oct. 12 – Dec. 24; Zone 2: Low Plains, Oct. 5 – Dec. 17, High Plains, Oct. 5 – Dec. 17 and Jan. 5-26; Zone 3: Low Plains, Oct. 23 – Jan. 4, High Plains, Oct. 23 – Jan. 4 and Jan. 5-26; Zone 4: Oct. 5 – Dec. 17; daily bag/possessions limits, 6 (with restrictions)/18

Dark Geese – East Unit: Oct. 28 – Feb. 9; North Central Unit: Oct. 5 – Jan. 17; Platte River Unit: Oct. 28 – Feb. 9; Panhandle Unit: Oct. 28 – Feb. 9; Niobrara Unit: Oct. 28 – Feb. 9; daily bag/possessions limits, 5/15

White-Fronted Geese – Oct. 5 – Dec. 13 and Feb. 1-2; daily bag/possessions limits, 2/6, 1/3 on Feb. 1-2

Light Geese Regular Season – Oct. 5 – Jan. 1 and Jan. 25 – Feb. 9; daily bag/possessions limits, 20/none

Light Geese Conservation Order – Rainwater Basin Zone: Feb. 10 – April 1; Prairie Zone 2: Feb. 10 – April 1; daily bag/possessions limits, none/none

Crows – Regular Season: Oct. 1-Nov. 15 and Jan. 20-April 6; Special Public Health Hazard Order: Nov. 16-Jan. 19; daily bag/possessions limits, none/none

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

The commissioners also approved:

— an increase in the possession limit on rail, snipe, woodcock, and dove from two times the daily bag limit to three times the daily bag limit.

— a recommendation to increase the park cash change fund at Two Rivers State Recreation Area from $600 to $1,000.

Director Jim Douglas announced the Fiscal Year 2013-2014 Outdoor Recreation Marketing Grant Program, gave highlights of the 2013 state high school fishing tournament, announced that Nebraska was selected as agency of the year by the Quality Deer Management Association, and reviewed the financial standings of Game Cash Fund, Lifetime Permit Trust, and Lifetime Stamp Trust. He also announced plans to continue advancement of shooting sports through agency shooting range plan. He also announced the temporary closures of some state park areas, saying “We need a sustainable funding source if we are to maintain the quality parks system Nebraskans expect.”

Several presentations were made at the meeting:

— Commission Chairman Norris Marshall presented a Resolution of Appreciation to the City of Valentine for hosting the meeting. It was accepted by City Manager Shane Siewert.

— Wayne Miller made a presentation on the Special Youth Challenge of Northern Nebraska. He told the commissioners how the organization helps fulfill the wishes of youth with disabilities to participate in outdoor recreation, such as hunting, and how to help those youth acquire hunter education.

— Former commissioner Tom Plummer presented the achievements in fundraising and developments to make the Lake McConaughy Water and Interpretive Center what it is today, including a new interpretive wing with time-lapse photography and the new Water for Food display.

— Chad Adams, president of Adams Bank and Trust and board member of the Nebraska Water Center Foundation, presented the need for a new conference center to host larger groups, expand educational capacity and increased tourism at the Lake McConaughy Water and Interpretive Center. He said Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala are the second largest tourist attraction in Nebraska.

The commissioners’ next meeting is Oct. 18 in Nebraska City.

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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