- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Maryland wildlife officials have proposed a three-part hunting season for migratory Canada geese that would increase the limit from one to two geese a day in its last segment.

For the big birds referred to as Atlantic Population Canadas (as opposed to resident geese that hang around all year), the proposal includes a one bird a day limit from Nov.18 to Nov.26 and from Dec.18 to Jan.6. The limit increases to two from Jan.7 to Jan.29.

The Atlantic Population hunting zone in Maryland includes Eastern Shore counties, Calvert and St. Mary’s counties, Anne Arundel County east of Interstate 97 and Route 3, Prince George’s County east of routes 3 and 301 and Charles County east of Route 301 to the Virginia line.

The proposal also has a three-part duck hunt: Oct.9 to Oct.16, Nov.13 to Nov.23 and Dec.14 to Jan.29. Five ducks a day would be the limit. During the first part of the season, black ducks would be off limits, and canvasback ducks would be legal from Dec.27 through Jan.29. Hunters of those species would observe a one-bird-a-day limit as part of the five ducks-a-day limit when they are legal.

Chances are the proposal will be adopted.

Gluttons for punishment — The Southern Maryland chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) must be composed of more than one masochist. Someone there had the idea to hold a snakehead fishing tournament. The last such contest resulted in zero fish.

The snakehead chase will begin at 7 a.m. on Aug.28 at the Marshall Hall boat launching ramps in Charles County (Route 210 to Marshall Hall Road). Check-in time is 6 a.m., and the cost is $25 an angler. Lunch and drinks will be provided. If you don’t have a boat, a boat-owning partner will be found.

For information and pre-registration, contact Donald Gardiner, [email protected] hotmail.com or 301/645-3323. Prizes have been donated by the Dick’s Sporting Goods chain, Indian Head Charters, Holiday Sports and Bob-A-Long Charters.

Hunt groups happy with Bush — Safari Club International (SCI) and the National Wild Turkey Federation have voiced their strong support for President Bush’s conservation initiatives, announced last week in Le Sueur, Minn.

The president provided three initiatives to increase wildlife habitat. The first opens an early re-enrollment and extension period for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which SCI said “is critical to increasing wildlife habitat and game populations.” SCI said hunters will see great benefits from the expansion of this program.

The president also announced an initiative to create 250,000 acres of habitat for northern bobwhite quail, which is sorely needed because quail are not doing well anywhere.

There also is a Non-Floodplain Wetland Restoration Initiative to encourage landowners to enroll 250,000 acres of wetlands and lakes that are outside the 100-year flood plain. It would be invaluable to all manner of wildlife, particularly waterfowl.

Look for Gene Mueller’s outdoors column Sunday and Wednesday and his Fishing Report on Thursday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: gmueller@washingtontimes.com

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