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Colorado Wildlife Commission amends waterfowl regulations

The Colorado Wildlife Commission finalized 2009 waterfowl season dates and bag limits and heard public comment on the Five-Year Review of Big Game Season Structure at its Aug. 10 workshop in Frisco.

The commission amended Colorado’s 2009 waterfowl hunting seasons to reflect recent changes to federal migratory waterfowl regulations. The following changes will be implemented for the upcoming seasons:

In the Central Flyway, pintails and canvasbacks may now be taken during the entire season, with a daily bag limit of one bird per species. In addition, the daily bag limit of wood ducks is now three instead of two.

In the Pacific Flyway, the season for canvasback was reopened, with a daily bag limit of one bird, and the daily bag limit for pintails was increased to two birds. During the first 86 days of the season, hunters may harvest three scaup instead of two.

The 2009-2010 Colorado Waterfowl Regulations brochure will include all changes and will be available mid-September at license agents and Division of Wildlife offices statewide.

Division of Wildlife staff also presented the commission with draft guidelines and alternatives for the 2010-2014 Big Game Season Structure, focusing on alternatives for season dates, limited license drawing and preference points. In addition, the commission heard staff and public testimony regarding the nomination of Game Management Units 54, 55 and 551 in the Gunnison Basin to fully limited units for elk licenses.

The Five-Year Review of Big Game Season Structure concludes next month. The commission will adopt final regulations and guidelines for the 2010-2014 big game seasons at its regular meeting September 10th in Colorado Springs.

Every five years, the Colorado Wildlife Commission adopts a big game season structure to provide an overall framework for annual hunting regulations.

Each Five-Year Review of Big Game Season Structure addresses issues like the length and timing of seasons for different big game species and hunting methods, the general proportion of licenses that will be limited or unlimited, and the balance among different kinds of hunting opportunities. The current big game season structure ends in 2009, and the next cycle will cover 2010-2014.

The Colorado Wildlife Commission is an 11-member board appointed by the governor. The commission sets Division of Wildlife regulations and policies for hunting, fishing, watchable wildlife, land purchases and property regulations.