Expanded duck seasons, limits sought

THE BALTIMORE SUN

While the hunting season for migratory Canada geese has been closed in the Atlantic Flyway by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, parameters for duck-hunting seasons and bag limits likely will be expanded in response to population increases.

In Maryland, the Department of Natural Resources proposes to expand the October split of the season to four days, the November split to seven and the final split to 39 days in December and January.

DNR also proposes a daily bag limit of four birds, although the Fish and Wildlife Service guidelines would allow five.

DNR will hold public meetings on its proposals from 7 to 9 p.m. on the following dates:

Aug. 22: Parkside High School, Salisbury

Aug. 24: Chestertown American Legion (Frank M. Jarman Post No. 36) on Legion Road outside Chestertown.

L Aug. 28: Annapolis Senior High School, Riva Road, Annapolis.

PD Aug. 30: Visitors Center, Seneca Creek State Park, Gaithersburg.

Resident goose hunt

Maryland's hunting season for non-migratory Canada geese will open Sept. 5 and close Sept. 15 in all or parts of 20 counties.

"[This] season poses no threat to the state's declining migrant Canada geese population, which starts to arrive from its Quebec breeding grounds in late September," said DNR Wildlife Division director Joshua Sandt.

Maryland's population of resident or non-migratory Canada geese consists of more than 25,000 birds and continues to expand, according to state waterfowl managers.

The season will be open in 14 counties west of Chesapeake Bay, and portions of six counties on the lower Eastern Shore $l (Caroline, south of Route 404; Dorchester; Somerset; Talbot, east of Route 50; Wicomico, and Worcester).

The daily bag limit is three and the possession limit is six.

The season for migratory Canada geese has been closed in the Atlantic Flyway for a minimum of one season because the population is in severe decline.

Hunter safety classes

Safety education classes are required of first-time hunters applying for a license in Maryland, and more than 144 courses will be offered across the state through the end of October.

The courses, which also include clinics for bowhunters and black powder hunters, average about 14 hours and include written tests and firearm handling.

MA For information on courses in your area, call (410) 974-2040.

Annapolis Race Week

For 29 years, the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association has drawn the best racing sailboats from around the bay and nearby states for Annapolis Race Week. This year, the event receives a boost as Mount Gay Rum and Yachting magazine are coming aboard as co-sponsors.

"For decades, Annapolis Race Week has been the sail-racing highlight for the middle Chesapeake Bay area," said Tom Curtis, CBYRA chairman of the event. "This year's selection as one of the prestigious Mount Gay Rum-Yachting magazine events means thousands of racers will come to Annapolis from all over the bay and East Coast."

Mary Jane Cox, associate editor of Yachting, said the selection criteria is that the event represents the top amateur competition in the region.

"Annapolis Race Week," she said, "along with our other two events, Key West race week and the Chicago-to-Mackinac race, have a tradition of meeting these criteria."

Annapolis Race Week will run Sept. 2-4. For information, contact the CBYRA at (410) 269-1194.

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