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F.4-2: Long-tailed Duck Harvest Characteristics from Two Rivers, Wisconsin: Lake Michigan

Presented by Luke Fara - Email: lfara@usgs.gov

An in-person hunter harvest survey was conducted at Two Rivers, Wisconsin, to determine how environmental variables might have influenced hunter participation and harvest of long-tailed ducks (LTDU; Clangula hyemalis), to estimate hunter harvest rates of LTDUs, and to gather hunter opinions on Lake Michigan waterfowl hunting regulations. Hunters were present on 15 (71%) of the 21 survey days and we received a 100% response rate on 127 attempted surveys. Results of the survey indicate that long-tailed ducks made up 97% of the total waterfowl harvest and that hunters averaged 3.8 LTDUs per day. Reported wounding loss was 11%. There were 62 hunting groups that completed the survey and 45 (73%) groups provided 67 comments on Lake Michigan waterfowl hunting. Most comments (24) involved season start dates or length, with hunters indicating preference for a later start date or longer season on Lake Michigan. Hunters expressed concern for LTDU populations, as four comments were related to concerns of overharvest and hunting pressure, 12 comments were related to reducing the LTDU daily bag limit, and six comments related to implementing a hen restriction on LTDUs. Estimated associations between environmental variables and hunter participation and harvest of long-tailed ducks will also be presented.
Session: Harvest (Wednesday, August 28, 15:30 to 16:50)