From the Ohio Department of Natural Resources
-- COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife is asking Ohio waterfowl hunters to evaluate its waterfowl management program. The survey may be taken online at wildohio.com
Every year, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service provides guidelines to state wildlife agencies that must be followed when setting annual hunting seasons and bag limits for migratory game birds, including ducks and geese. Because guidelines are issued during the summer, little time is available to gather public input before annual regulations must be established for fall.
"The Division of Wildlife strives to set hunting season dates, bag limits and related rules in a manner that is biologically sound and satisfying to the majority of waterfowl hunters. Input from Ohio's waterfowl hunters will enable us to accomplish the goal more effectively," said Dave Risley, executive administrator for Wildlife Management and Research.
Recent waterfowl hunting seasons have been based on abundant duck and goose populations, with liberal season lengths and bag limits offered since 1997. However, an extended drought in U.S. and Canadian prairies could impact the number and quality of wetlands used by many duck species and result in fewer ducks as well as shortened seasons in the future.
"If regulation options are restricted, we want to know what Ohio waterfowl hunters would prefer in terms of timing a shortened season, so we can establish regulations that allow quality hunting opportunities whether the season is 60, 45 or 30 days in length," Risley said.
Ohio's waterfowl hunters are encouraged to use the Internet to visit the Division of Wildlife's home page, wildohio.com and complete the Ohio Waterfowl Hunter Survey. A link is available on the home page; each waterfowl hunter should complete the survey only once. Although the survey requires each individual to provide a valid e-mail address, that information will be used only to communicate with participants about waterfowl hunting issues and survey results. E-mail addresses will not be sold or provided to other companies or agencies. The online survey will be available until March 15, 2009.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at www.ohiodnr.com.