Dove, duck and goose hunting seasons set

For the second straight year, Texas dove hunters will have a 90-day season.

The 2017-18 migratory game bird seasons adopted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department give Texas hunters a 90-day dove season with a daily limit of 15 birds; duck hunters will be limited to one pintail per day, and the early teal season is set for Sept. 9-24 with a daily bag limit of six birds.

The really good news is that South Texas dove hunters will see increased opportunity this year thanks to a season-framework adjustment expanding the early September four-day Special White-winged Dove Area hunting season to the entire South Zone boundary.

“The expansion of early white-winged dove hunting during the first two weekends in September, in effect, creates early September hunting opportunities statewide for the first time ever,” said Dave Morrison, TPWD Wildlife Division deputy director.

During the early two weekends in the Special White-winged Dove Days, hunting is allowed only from noon to sunset, and the daily bag limit is 15 birds, to include not more than two mourning doves and two white-tipped doves. During the general season in in the special area, the aggregate bag limit is 15 with no more than two white-tipped doves.

Dove season dates, bag limits

North Zone: Sept. 1 – Nov. 12 and Dec. 15-31.

Central Zone: Sept. 1 – Nov. 5 and Dec. 15 – Jan. 7, 2018.

Special White-winged Dove Days (entire South Zone): Sept. 2-3, 9-10.

South Zone: Sept. 22 – Nov. 8 and Dec. 15 – Jan. 21, 2018.

The daily bag limit for doves statewide is 15 and the possession limit 45.

Duck season dates and limits

North Zone: Youth: Nov. 4-5; Regular: Nov. 11-26 and Dec. 2 – Jan. 28, 2018

South Zone: Youth: Oct. 28-29; Regular: Nov. 4-26 and Dec. 9 – Jan. 28, 2018

Bag limit: Six per day to include no more than five mallards, of which only two may be hens, three wood ducks, three scaup, two redheads, two canvasback, one pintail

Goose hunting dates and bag limits

East Zone: Nov. 4 – Jan. 28, 2018; conservation order Jan. 29 – March 18, 2018

Bag Limit after the Early Canada Goose Season: 5 dark geese, to include no more than two white-fronted geese, 20 light geese (no possession limit on light geese).

West Zone: Nov. 4 – Feb. 4, 2018; conservation order Feb. 5 – March 18, 2018

Bag Limit: Five dark geese, to include no more than two white-fronted geese, 20 light geese (no possession limit on light geese)

Tide is changing for coastal recreational anglers

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has announced the 2017 Regional Fishery Management Council appointments and has shown that recreational fishing and boating are important to the Trump administration. The appointments of Dr. Greg Stunz of Texas to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Steve Heins of New York to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Chester Brewer of Florida to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; and Phil Dyskow of Florida and Dr. Bob Shipp of Alabama are a solid affirmation that the administration is taking federal fisheries management and conservation in the right direction, according to Rebecca Louviere, with the Center for Sportfishing Policy.

“The appointments to the Regional Fishery Management Councils are exactly what the recreational fishing and boating community needed,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. “America’s 11 million saltwater recreational anglers have been an afterthought for too long, but thanks to the leadership of President Trump and Commerce Secretary Ross, the tide is changing. It is clear the administration is committed to making sure America’s public resources remain public and that healthy natural resources are available for future generations.”

“The recreational fishing community along the Gulf Coast has found itself at a severe disadvantage in recent years due to an unbalanced Gulf Council,” said Patrick Murray, president of the Coastal Conservation Association. “The administration heard our calls for action and they have delivered. We look forward to the progress to come and better access to healthy marine resources for America’s recreational anglers.”

“Saltwater recreational fishing in the Gulf of Mexico is the backbone of our industry and supports almost twice as many jobs as the commercial industry. Creating more balanced Councils in these regions in particular was absolutely the right thing to do,” said Mike Nussman, president of the American Sportfishing Association.

“Secretary Ross understands that recreational boating and fishing are critical components of the U.S. economy,” said Nicole Vasilaros, vice president of federal and legal affairs for the National Marine Manufacturers Association.