A 12 week duck season announced

THERE will be a full length Victorian duck season of 12 weeks this year, with daily bag limits imposed.

The season will begin on Saturday, March 21 at 7.10am in the eastern zone, 7.20am in the central and 7.30am in the western. 

The season will close half an hour after sunset on Monday, June 8.

The daily bag limit will be 10 ducks on the opening day, with a five per day bag limit for the remainder of the season.

Below average rainfall for the past two years has reduced duck numbers and habitat.

 As a result, the Game Management Authority recommended a reduced bag limit was necessary to ensure the sustainability of duck populations.

On the opening Saturday of the season, no more than two game ducks per daily bag limit can be Blue-winged Shovelers. 

This will then be reduced to one Blue-winged Shoveler per daily bag for the remainder of the season.

Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford said the changes to the 2015 duck season reflected the fact poor rainfall over the past two years had affected native duck numbers and breeding and habitat availability across eastern Australia. 

“Duck hunting is a popular recreational activity in Victoria, with more than 26,000 people licensed to hunt game ducks,” she said. 

“Anyone wishing to take part in the 2015 duck season must have passed a Waterfowl Identification Test to demonstrate that they can correctly identify which species are allowed to be hunted.”

“Hunters are reminded to act safely and responsibly at all times while enjoying their hunting.”

Hunting in Victoria is worth about $439 million according to a recent survey of the state’s 47,000 licensed game hunters. 

The decision to modify the Victorian season mirrors the South Australian government’s decision to reduce its daily bag limit in response to low duck numbers and reduced habitat.

The GMA website contains information on arrangements for duck hunting and testing.