Comment sought on early waterfowl seasons

CorrespondentJune 5, 2013 

Summer is almost here, and before we know it, hunting seasons will be upon us.

Federal and state planners are preparing dates and regulations, and input from the public is sought as the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission works to set dates within the frameworks provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Comments will end June 20 on early waterfowl and webless migratory game bird seasons. The seasons include dove, woodcock, rail and snipe, along with waterfowl seasons that start before Oct. 1, the commission said in a release. Input on extended falconry seasons for webless species also is being accepted.

Comment by going to www.ncwildlife.org and clicking on “Submit Comments.”

Season dates will be selected at the July 11 commission meeting.

Meeting on GMCs Thursday: North Carolinians who want to learn about the use of genetically modified crops on national wildlife refuges are urged to attend a scoping meeting 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in Columbia.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is evaluating GMC use on Southeast Region refuges that use farming as a wildlife management tool. GMC use in the region was halted after the 2012 planting season because of litigation.

Comments will end July 28. Go to https://sites.google.com/site/fwsregion4gmcpeis/, or email to fw4_gmcpea@fws.gov.

Groups push for wildlife funds: The N.C. Wildlife Federation’s N.C. Camo Coalition and the North Carolina chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation are asking members to contact their state House representatives to request restoration of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission budget.

The proposed budget was slashed about $9 million, or 49 percent, by the state Senate last month. The bill was referred to the House appropriations committee last week.

The Camo Coalition’s contact form is at http://bit.ly/11AKEiD. Find representatives on the legislature’s home page at www.ncleg.net.

New fisheries rules: A variety of new N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission rules went into effect Saturday for coastal fishing waters.

Fish dealers who report annual average landings of greater than 50,000 pounds of finfish for three consecutive calendar years now must report landings electronically.

The limit of 100 shrimp per person a day for shrimp taken with a cast net from a closed area is replaced with a limit of two quarts per person per day. Measuring the volume will require less time than counting the shrimp during enforcement checks.

Amendment 1 to the N.C. Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan is implemented with rules that remove the prohibition on the sale and purchase of striped bass taken by hook-and-line gear, although this will not automatically authorize using hook-and-line gear in the commercial striper fishery, the commission said. The rules also adjust the joint/coastal boundary between the Albemarle Sound Management Area and the Roanoke River Management Area. The rules also clarify that it remains unlawful for a commercial operation to possess stripers from the Roanoke River Management Area, which is under N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission jurisdiction.

For all new rules, go to http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/

Send outdoors news to outdoors@newsobserver.com.

Boggess: boggess.teri@gmail.com

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