Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 8

Estimates of active duck and goose hunters in Pennsylvania from the federal HIP were 23,200 and 28,100, respectively. The HIP estimate of total duck harvest for 2010-11 was 114,200, about 30 percent below the long term average. The top five duck species harvested were mallard (50,700), wood duck (31,800), black duck (7,400), green-winged teal (5,100) and common merganser (4,100). The HIP harvest estimate for Canada goose harvest in Pennsylvania 2010-11 for 2010-11 was 155,700, 16 percent below average. Pennsylvania ranked second among Atlantic Flyway states for total Canada goose harvest. Overall snow goose harvest (regular and conservation seasons combined) was 7,400, 42 percent below the combined regular and conservation seasons average harvest for the previous two years. The reduced harvest was due to extensive snow cover during the regular season period, and relatively low numbers of juvenile snow geese in the fall/ winter population due to poor gosling recruitment on the Arctic breeding areas in 2010. Representative samples of waterfowl are banded annually in Pennsylvania as part of the cooperative Atlantic Flyway banding program. Banding data is essential for determining the timing and distribution of the waterfowl harvest, overall harvest and survival rates, and migration patterns; and allows for evaluation of the effects of changes in hunting regulations. Fiscal year banding efforts included preseason duck banding, winter black duck banding and resident Canada goose banding. Two staff members participated in the annual USFWS Atlantic Flyway Waterfowl Wingbee in Laurel, Maryland. At the Wingbee, federal and state personnel examine some 20,000 duck wings and goose tails to determine the composition of the previous hunting season’s harvest in terms of species, age, sex, geographical location and temporal distribution. This data is used for a variety of waterfowl management applications. We also gained additional training on new techniques and criteria for determination of waterfowl species, age and sex. PGC staff continued efforts to monitor geographic distribution and numeric changes in important furbearer populations, with the most intensive work focused on fisher, bobcat, and river otter. We continue to use independent methods to track these populations, including reports of vehicle-caused mortalities, incidental captures and various measures of reported sightings. The Game Take Survey, Furtaker Survey and WCO furbearer questionnaire continue to be important instruments to monitor furbearer populations across the commonwealth. Fisher populations continue to expand here. We estimated that 933 fishers were captured and released by Pennsylvania trappers during 2009-10 seasons. The annual number of fisher observations and incidental captures reported to WCOs has also been increasing since fishers were reintroduced in 1996. Fisher populations are rapidly expanding from the reintroduction areas in northern regions and naturally expanding into regions of southwestern and southcentral Pennsylvania. Eighty-five percent of WCOs surveyed during 2010-11 reported fisher populations existing within their districts. A conservative 6-day fisher harvest season was approved for 4 WMUs during December 2010. We monitored Pennsylvania’s first regulated fisher harvest season and compiled harvest reports. One hundred and thirty-six reports were received initially by online and phone reporting. A survey designed to assess participation and trapping effort was sent to all permit holders who did not report a fisher harvest. We estimate that 152 fishers were harvested during the established season. We coordinated with staff at Indiana University of Pennsylvania to collect fisher carcasses and genetic samples from the 2010 season. River otter populations are expanding. Numbers of incidental otter captures, primarily
8	 GAME	 NEWS



Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012

Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 1
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - BB1
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - Cover4
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