Mallards

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Mallards

Postby don novicki » Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:11 pm

Over at Hunting Pa.com you can read The proposal for the 2019/20 seasons where you they intend to cut the daily mallard limit to two birds. Any thoughts?
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Re: Mallards

Postby aunt betty » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:11 pm

Well that'd be much easier since I can't count past 5.
I've heard that it's incredibly stupid to fuck around with a crazy man's head.
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Re: Mallards

Postby Rick » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:13 am

Saw what appeared a press release on another site and have to wonder how many folks outside the state of New York that Atlantic Flyway measure would really impact? Much less what it might actually do for that region's mallard population...
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Re: Mallards

Postby Rick » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:39 am

"Atlantic Flyway Council and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service are poised to reduce the mallard bag limit in the Atlantic Flyway from 4 to 2 birds per day starting with the 2019–2020 hunting. Mallards are managed as three distinct population units including Western (California, Oregon and Washington), Mid-continent (prairie pothole region, parklands and boreal forest) and Eastern (northeast states and eastern Canada). Bag limits and season lengths for the Atlantic Flyway are primarily influenced by the population status of eastern mallards through an adaptive harvest management (AHM) framework. Band recovery information suggests that most mallards harvested from North Carolina to eastern Canada are produced within the region. In recent years, the breeding population of mallards in eastern Canada has been stable but declining in the northeastern states especially New York and Pennsylvania. The decline is significant enough to cause the current AHM model to predict restrictive seasons in the Atlantic Flyway.

Based on historical records, mallards in northeastern North America were common migrants but rarely bred there. Depletion of wild stocks due to market gunning and later the outlawing of live decoys resulted in the wholesale release of captive mallards. Thus, the release of captive reared birds was likely more responsible for mallards appearing in the northeast than eastward expansion from the core range in the Prairie Pothole Region. In fact, recent genetic studies suggest eastern mallards are more closely related to Old World mallards than their prairie brethren. Manmade modifications to the landscape allowed mallards to nest in areas previously unexploited by the species and populations of mallards in the northeast grew significantly over time as they pioneered new habitat.

Duck harvest management in the Atlantic Flyway was historically based on the status of prairie ducks and later mallards via adaptive harvest management (AHM). Drastic population declines due to drought on the prairies during the 1980s, resulting restrictive seasons (3 birds/day and 30-day seasons) and band recovery data suggesting few prairie ducks are harvested in the Atlantic Flyway served as an impetus for data collection and investigating AHM for eastern mallards. Following a decade of data collection through the Atlantic Flyway Breeding Waterfowl Survey, the Eastern Survey Area Breeding Waterfowl Survey (Canada) and intensified preseason banding, an AHM model for eastern mallards was established in 2000 and has informed harvest management in the Atlantic Flyway to present.

The eastern mallard breeding population reached a peak of 1.1 million in 2004 but has significantly declined since and last year’s estimate was approximately 650,000. While the population in eastern Canada has largely been stable, it has been declining in the northeast U.S., especially in New York and Pennsylvania. The decline since 2004 represents about 420,000 birds and is significant enough for the current AHM model to recommend reduced hunter harvest.

The cause of the eastern mallard population decline is undetermined. Hypothesized reasons for the decline include loss of carrying capacity on breeding and non-breeding areas, reduction in “artificial” winter feeding activities in the NE states, over harvest, and the population exceeding carrying capacity and stabilizing at a lower equilibrium population near carrying capacity (e.g., like reintroduced wild turkey populations). Biologists are currently examining existing data sets (juvenile/adult age ratios and banding data) to identify potential issues with production and survival.

Atlantic Flyway biologists from the states and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service are currently working towards a new multi-stock AHM model that will include mallards and four additional species including green-winged-teal, wood duck, ring-necked duck and goldeneye. Collectively, these species make up about 60% of the Atlantic Flyway duck harvest. Consequently, hunters will likely retain liberal or moderate season packages (60 and 45 days, respectively). Despite this forthcoming change, the Atlantic Flyway is proposing to reduce the mallard daily bag limit from 4 to 2 starting in 2019. Modeling suggests that reducing the bag in this manner will reduce harvest by 25% and achieve a sustainable harvest level.

Ramifications of the observed decline are complex and extend beyond eastern mallards. Like eastern mallards, the American black duck, a flagship species of the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture and high priority NAWMP species, harvest is managed via a species-specific AHM model. Within the black duck AHM model it is hypothesized that the abundance of eastern mallards adversely impacts the black duck population via reduced production. The mechanism for this potential impact is via competition during the breeding season as these species are closely related both morphologically and genetically. There is also potential for hybridization between these two species where they overlap on non-breeding areas. Thus, there are potential tradeoffs when considering management decisions surrounding these two species. "


The clip's source of origin wasn't included.
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Re: Mallards

Postby don novicki » Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:21 pm

Based on how few mallards I and others have seen this season, the biologists are right. If they don't change the way they base seasons, on overall mallard numbers we are going to be looking g at closed seasons pretty shortly. Of course the Game Commission told us that already at the 2017 waterfowl symposium. For you guys that know the area, if they close the season for any length of time we will be done hunting at P.I. forever. At least that's my opinion.
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Re: Mallards

Postby don novicki » Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:31 am

Inland season is over, I have killed one mallard this season and that was at P.I.. The biologists are right. Things don't look good for us here in NW Pa.. For the first time ever I am contemplating selling all my gear and getting into another activity. Now that I am retired and finally have time to hunt, there are no birds. It's a shame.
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Re: Mallards

Postby Duck Engr » Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:30 am

don novicki wrote:Inland season is over, I have killed one mallard this season and that was at P.I.. The biologists are right. Things don't look good for us here in NW Pa.. For the first time ever I am contemplating selling all my gear and getting into another activity. Now that I am retired and finally have time to hunt, there are no birds. It's a shame.


That is a shame Don! How quickly did things fall off? Gradual over a lot of years or pretty dramatic here recently?
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Re: Mallards

Postby don novicki » Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:13 am

In the last 5-7 years it has really gone downhill fast. I worry about the Wood Ducks because that is all we see anymore. They will not be able to take the pounding year after year if that is all we shoot. I have a ton of gear that I'm going to sell next year. Kills me to do it but it's taking up too much space in my garage and hasn't been out in the field for years.
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