The continental pintail breeding population count declined 4% this year, according to a survey released today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. That means the pintail daily bag limit is expected to remain at one next year (2020-21) too, as detailed in the Adaptive Harvest Management report.
CWA continues to work with regulators toward liberalizing pintail limits within bounds deemed prudent by science. A growing body of research shows harvest has negligible effect on populations, which appear to be more constrained by habitat conditions.
Total duck breeding populations in the so-called traditional survey area – which produces about 75% of the top eight duck species harvested in California – were down 6% this year.
Scaup populations were also down 10%, which is expected to lead to a reduction of the daily bag limit from three to two in the 2020-21 season, with the season length remaining at 86 days.
Mallards were up slightly (2%), but 60-70% of mallards harvested in California hatched in California, so California’s breeding population of mallards (which is also down), is more important to this state.