2020-21 regulations

Waterfowl hunting regulations are set at two levels: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sets science-based frameworks based on waterfowl population and other data, with guidance from councils established in each flyway. Then the California Fish & Game Commission sets regulations that fit within those frameworks.

See California Waterfowl’s positions on major regulatory issues, including our efforts to liberalize pintail limits, here.

To see 2019-20 regulations, scroll down or click here.

Here is a summary of changes in the proposed 2020-21 regulations that the California Fish & Game Commission will consider on April 16, 2020. California Waterfowl will take positions on the proposed regulations at its April 3 Meeting of the Members, considering input from its Regulations and Traditions Committee.

Veteran hunt days

Veterans and active-duty military personnel might have their own special waterfowl hunt days. The two special hunt days are allowed under a new federal law, and like youth hunt weekends, they would come out of the 107 days of total duck and goose hunting allowed in each zone.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is recommending holding veteran hunt days the weekend after the close of general duck and goose season in the Northeastern Zone, which would reduce the general season length there to 103 days.

DFW recommends holding veteran hunt days after Youth Hunt Weekend in the Balance of State, Southern San Joaquin Valley, Southern California and Colorado River zones.

Allowable species would include ducks, American coots, common moorhens and geese for the Southern San Joaquin Valley, Southern California and Colorado River zones. However, in the Northeastern and Balance of State zones, geese would not be allowed during veteran hunt days because all 107 available days are used during regular and late seasons (and youth hunt weekends) to address crop depredation concerns.

Participants will need to carry proof of eligibility for the hunt, including a Veterans Affairs-issued veterans ID card, state issued driver’s license or identification card with veteran designation or a current military identification card.

Closing date

Another major change proposed for the coming year is a return to the regular season closing on the last Sunday in January for the Balance of State, Southern San Joaquin Valley and Southern California zones. In 2019-20, the state took advantage new federal regulations allowing duck season to go until Jan. 31, not just the last Sunday in January. But next year, Jan. 31 is the last Sunday in January.

Bag limits

The pintail limit will remain at one per day, and the scaup limit will drop from three per day to two, pursuant to federal frameworks that the state cannot exceed.

 

2019-20 regulations

Use links below to skip to any zone:

Northeastern
Balance of State
Southern San Joaquin Valley
Southern California
Colorado River Zone

(Click here to view map full-sized – opens in a new tab)

NORTHEASTERN CALIFORNIA ZONE

SEASONS

Ducks: October 5, 2019, through January 17, 2020.
Scaup: October 5, 2019, through December 1, 2019, and December 21, 2019, through January 17, 2020.
White geese & white-fronts (specklebellies): October 5, 2019, through December 1, 2019, and January 4, 2020 through January 17, 2020 (except in the Klamath Basin Special Management Area).
Other dark geese (Canadas): October 5, 2019, through January 12, 2020.
Klamath Basin Special Management Area: White geese & white-fronts (specklebellies), October 5, 2019 through January 17, 2020; Canada geese October 5, 2019, through January 12, 2020.
Special Youth Hunt days: September 21 and 22, 2019.
Late white goose & white-front season: February 7, 2020 through March 10, 2020 (except in the new Klamath Basin Special Management Area).

LIMITS

Ducks: Daily bag limit: 7, which may contain 7 mallards, of which only 2 can be female; 1 pintail; 2 canvasback; 2 redheads; 3 scaup.
Geese: Daily bag limit: 30, which may include up to 20 white geese, up to 10 dark geese, of which only 2 may be large Canada geese.
Possession limit ducks and geese: Triple the daily bag limit.

 

Map of Klamath Basin Special Management Area

The Klamath Basin Special Management Area

BALANCE OF STATE ZONE

SEASONS

Ducks: October 19, 2019, through January 31, 2020.
Geese: October 19, 2019, through January 26, 2020.
Scaup: November 7, 2019, through January 31, 2020.
Brant special management areas: Northern Brant, November 8, 2019, through December 14, 2019. Balance of State Brant, November 9, 2019, through December 15, 2019; 2 per day.
North Coast Special Management Area: Canada geese, November 6, 2019, through January 31, 2020, and February 22, 2020 through March 10, 2020 (no large Canada geese allowed during late season).
Special Youth Hunt Days: February 8 and 9, 2020.
Early large Canada goose season: September 28, 2019, through October 2, 2019, (except in the North Coast Special Management Area).
Late white-fronts and white goose season: February 8, 2020 through February 12, 2020 (except Sacramento Valley Special Management Area, where white-fronts are closed).

LIMITS

Ducks: Daily bag limit: 7, which may contain 7 mallards of which only 2 can be female; 1 pintail; 2 canvasback; 2 redheads; 3 scaup.
Geese: Daily bag limit: 30, which may include up to 20 white geese and up to 10 dark geese.
Early large Canada goose season: 10 large Canada geese
Sacramento Valley Special Management Area: No more than 3 white-fronts may be taken from October 19, 2019, through December 21, 2019.
North Coast Special Management Area: Canada goose limit: No more than 10 per day, of which 1 may be a large Canada goose (no large Canada geese may be taken during the late season).
Possession limit ducks and geese: Triple the daily bag limit.

SOUTHERN SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY ZONE

SEASONS
Ducks and geese: October 19, 2019, through January 31, 2020.
Scaup: November 7, 2019, through January 31, 2020.
Special Youth Hunt days: February 8 and 9, 2020.

LIMITS
Ducks: Daily bag limit: 7, which may contain 7 mallards, of which only 2 can be female; 1 pintail; 2 canvasback; 2 redheads; 3 scaup.
Geese: Daily bag limit: 30, which may include up to 20 white geese and up to 10 dark geese.
Possession limit ducks and geese: Triple the daily bag limit.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ZONE

SEASONS

Ducks and geese: October 19, 2019, through January 31, 2020.
Scaup: November 7, 2019, through January 31, 2020.
Imperial County Special Management Area: White geese, November 7, 2019 through January 31, 2020; and February 8, 2020, through February 26, 2020.
Special Youth Hunt days: February 8 and 9, 2020.

LIMITS

Ducks: Daily bag limit: 7, which may contain 7 mallards, of which only 2 can be female; 1 pintail; 2 canvasback; 2 redheads; 3 scaup.
Geese: Daily bag limit: 23. Of which only 20 may be white geese and only 3 may be dark geese.
Imperial County Special Management Area: White goose limit: 20 per day.
Possession limit ducks and geese: Triple the daily bag limit.

 

COLORADO RIVER ZONE

SEASONS
Ducks and geese: October 18, 2019, through January 26, 2020.
Scaup: November 2, 2019, through January 26, 2020.
Special Youth Hunt days: February 1 and 2, 2020.

LIMITS
Ducks: Daily bag limit: 7, which may contain 7 mallards, but not more than 2 female mallards or Mexican-like ducks; 1 pintail; 2 canvasback; 2 redheads; 3 scaup.
Geese: Daily bag limit: 24, which may contain 20 white geese and up to 4 may be dark geese.
Possession limit ducks and geese: Triple the daily bag limit.

See the latest updates on the impact of COVID-19 on CWA events and operations