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IDNR Announces 2015–16 Waterfowl Season Dates

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACTS:
Chris Young
217-557-1240
IDNR Announces 2015–16 Waterfowl Season Dates
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources today announced proposed waterfowl season dates and bag limits for the 2015–16 seasons.  The recommendations include 60-day duck seasons in each of the state’s four waterfowl hunting zones, along with Canada goose hunting seasons of 90 days in the North and Central zones, a 79-day Canada goose season in the South Central Zone, and a 67-day Canada goose season in the South Zone. Goose season lengths are shorter in the South Central and South zones to coincide with duck season dates and to match hunter preferences.

The 2015-16 Illinois season dates are the last year of a five-year plan that was developed in 2011.  This year, Illinois will open the regular duck, Canada goose, and snow goose seasons on Oct. 17 in the North Zone, Oct. 24 in the Central Zone, Nov. 14 in the South Central Zone, and Nov. 26 in the South Zone. More days were allowed for white-fronted goose seasons this year, and seasons will open Oct. 19 in the North Zone, Nov. 5 in the Central Zone, and with duck season in the South Central (Nov. 14) and South zones (Nov. 26).

The proposed daily duck bag limit is six (6) and may include no more than four (4) mallards (two hens), three (3) wood ducks, three (3) scaup, two (2) redheads, two (2) pintails, two (2) canvasback, one (1) black duck, and one (1) mottled duck.  The proposed daily bag limit of mergansers is five (5), only two of which may be hooded mergansers.  The possession limit for ducks and mergansers is three times the daily bag limit by species and sex.  

Canada and white-fronted goose daily bag limits will be two (2) with a possession limit of six (6).  The snow goose daily bag limit is 20 birds, with no possession limit, during the fall and winter season. The spring Conservation Order Light Goose season will open Jan. 15 in the North Zone and Feb. 1 in the Central, South Central, and South zones, ending March 31 in all zones. There is no daily bag or possession limit on snow, blue, and Ross’ geese during this season.

The September 2015 early Canada goose season is Sept. 1–15 with a daily limit of five (5) and a possession limit of 15 geese in the North and Central zones, and a daily limit of two (2) and a possession limit of six (6) geese in the South Central and South zones.

Illinois’ 16-day 2015 statewide teal hunting season is Sept. 5–20 with a daily limit of six (6) and a possession limit of eighteen (18). Shooting hours for the September teal season are different from the regular season, starting at sunrise (½ hour later than regular season) until sunset.

Illinois’ regulations are subject to final approval by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service later this summer.  

The IDNR 2015–16 season dates are outlined below. 

September Canada Goose:  Statewide Sept. 1 – 15

September Teal:  Statewide Sept. 5 – 20

Illinois Waterfowl Regular Season Dates: 2015–16

North Zone   Youth Hunt Duck Canada Goose

2015–16   Oct. 10 – 11   Oct. 17 – Dec. 15   Oct. 17 – Jan. 14

Central Zone

2015–16   Oct. 17 – 18   Oct. 24 – Dec. 22   Oct. 24 – Nov. 15 and Nov. 26 – Jan. 31

South Central Zone

2015–16   Nov. 7 – 8   Nov. 14 – Jan. 12   Nov. 14 – Jan. 31

South Zone

2015–16   Nov. 14 – 15   Nov. 26 – Jan. 24   Nov. 26 – Jan. 31

Illinois 2015–16 Snow Goose and White-Fronted Goose Season Dates

North Zone
Snow Geese
Regular Season:  Oct. 17 – Jan. 14
White-fronted Geese: Oct. 19 – Jan. 14


Central Zone
Snow Geese
Regular Season:  Oct. 24 – Jan. 31
White-fronted Geese:  Nov. 5 – Jan. 31


South Central Zone
Snow Geese
Regular Season: Nov. 14 – Jan. 31
White-fronted Geese:  Nov. 14 – Jan. 31


South Zone
Snow Geese
Regular Season:  Nov. 26 – Jan. 31
White-fronted Geese:  Nov. 26 – Jan. 31


The Illinois waterfowl zone maps are available on the IDNR website at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/waterfowl/Pages/MapsApprovedWaterfowlZoneLines.aspx

Additional details on the duck, goose, and other migratory bird hunting seasons will be available on the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov and in the 2015 Illinois Digest of Waterfowl Hunting Regulations, available in October.

Illinois has begun to develop a new 5-year plan for waterfowl zone lines and season dates for the 2016–2020 seasons.  Hunters can review information used to set zone lines and season dates at the DNR website under waterfowl hunting, and should look for a final proposal in late September or early October outlining the next 5-years' zone lines and season dates.

For a PDF version of this news release:
http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/news/Documents/IDNRWaterfowlSeasons2015.pdf
 
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