LWA members were on hand for the Louisiana Waterfowl Commission meeting today. Charles Williams addressed the Commission, stating the LWA position concerning extended season dates and bag limits in particular those of the Specklebelley Goose. Our position was received well by the Commission and the audience in attendance. Our purpose was only to raise the awareness about any changes proposed to bag limits or season lengths and did not list any preferred “options”. Both Public and Commission comments overwhelming supported a complete “NO CHANGE” agreement, (2 birds/74 day season)until Commissioner Chad Courville proposed a two bird limit with 88 day season, which sparked an hour or more debate.
According to Louisiana Waterfowl Study Leader, Larry Reynolds, any extended season dates also increases the total harvest, which begged the question of why keep the two bird limit if you’re going to hunt longer seasons? Commissioner Courville evidently had given this subject some thought and was pretty set on his personal desires and eventually swayed a vote on two birds/ 81 day season, which passed 4-2 to the dismay of the majority of the room.
LWA won the battle over extra birds per day, but lost the war on an extended season which equates to losing more overall numbers.
See LWA letter below:
Louisiana Waterfowl Alliance
To: Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission
Date: August 6, 2015
Subject: Proposed Hunting Regulations Changes
The Louisiana Waterfowl Alliance (LWA) is a statewide organization of waterfowl hunters dedicated to the future of waterfowl habitat and the quality of duck and goose hunting in our state. We wish to express our concern with the proposal being surfaced; calling for changes in increased bag limits and season lengths to Louisiana hunting regulations, for the white-fronted goose, more widely known as the “Specklebelly” in Louisiana.
We urge the Commission to thoroughly review the possible impacts of any such liberalized hunting regulations and consideration of the changes in migration and weather patterns which directly affect the number of birds coming to our state, BEFORE rushing to a decision which could ultimately result in a dramatic decline in the quality of Spec hunting for our lifetime.
While LWA is typically supportive of increased hunter opportunities in combination with the prudent use and sustainability of the resource, we feel we must question the timing of this proposal, considering the documented, significant decline in the number of Specs wintering in our state. While nationwide numbers have shown increases, we are deeply concerned that allowing the harvest of more birds in Louisiana will only exacerbate the problem.
The members of LWA and its affiliates look forward to further discussion with you on this topic, and at this time, we thank the Commission for the opportunity to express our concerns.
Board of Directors of
Louisiana Waterfowl Alliance