Canada goose population takes a dive November survey estimates decline

OUTDOORS

December 04, 1991|By PETER BAKER

The November Canada goose survey produced a population estimate of 333,584, down from 377,666 estimated in Maryland at the same time last year.

The survey, conducted Nov. 12-15 by personnel from the Department of Natural Resources as well as federal and private wildlife interest groups, is used to monitor long-term trends in wintering populations of Canada geese.

On the Eastern Shore, 322,758 Canadas were counted, with the largest number (103,770) observed in the Chester River area. Western Kent County (44,487) and the Northeast, Elk and Bohemia rivers of Cecil County also held good numbers (33,693).

On the western shore (10,826), the greatest concentration was found on the upper Patuxent River (4,401), with 3,637 scattered through northern Harford, Baltimore and Carroll counties.

A second round of aerial surveys is scheduled next month.

Estimates of other waterfowl species made in the November survey:

Snow geese, 80,781; tundra swans, 7,453; scaup, 56,100, canvasbacks, 4,440 and redheads, 908.

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Turkey hunters acquitted themselves admirably during the fall season , according to the DNR. The harvest rate was up 6 percent over last year in spite of adverse hunting conditions.

In the fall season, hunting is allowed only in Washington County west of I-81 and in Garrett and Allegany counties.

Weather conditions ranged from temperatures in the single digits in Garrett County to the teens in the rest of the hunting range. A dry summer and fall made for dry forests and noisy conditions.

This fall 360 turkeys were checked, compared to 340 last year. Of the harvest, 72 percent were young of the year and 54 percent came from private land.

Biologists had hoped for a better harvest, however, because turkey reproduction was up this year, with six poults produced for each hen.

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Deer check-in stations have been added in the following state counties:

Carroll (replacing Heagy's Sports Shop) -- Parham's Taxidermy, 1903 Bethel Road, Finksburg, four miles east of Westminster. (410) 848-1656.

Kent -- Charlee's White-tail Custom Cutting, one mile east of Millington, left on Peacock Corner Road for 1 1/2 miles. (410) 928-5326.

Queen Anne's -- Corkell's Grocery and Deli, Route 313 and Church Street in Sudlersville. (410) 438-3803.

Somerset County -- Big Apple, Inc., Route 13, north of Pocomoke. (410) 957-1151.

Wicomico -- Dicks Sports Center, Route 13, 1 mile south of Salisbury State. (410) 543-4383.

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