Apr 19, 2024

2024-25 Waterfowl Seasons and Bag Limits Finalized

2024-25 Waterfowl Seasons and Bag Limits Finalized


The California Fish and Game Commission voted today to approve the seasons and bag limits for the 2024-25 waterfowl season.  California Waterfowl provided testimony at the hearing in San Jose.


Notable changes from recent seasons, the duck and goose seasons in the Balance of State, Southern San Joaquin and Southern California Zones will start the 4th Saturday in October (Oct. 26) rather than the traditional 3rd Saturday.  Both seasons will end on Friday, January 31st, for 98 total regular season hunt days. 


In its testimony before the Commission, CWA expressed concern about the impact on the post-season youth hunt, given that there will be little or no rest days provided.  CWA’s Regulations and Traditions Committee had expressed support for starting the season a week earlier and ending on the last Sunday in January to provide 5 days of rest for the youth hunt and a couple of additional hunt days (for a total of 100 days), but restrictive language in the environmental document for the regulations and approaching federal deadlines made this exceedingly difficult to implement.


CWA is requesting that, going forward, the environmental document include a wider range of season dates and more flexible proposed regulatory language.  CWA will also be moving up its April Regulations and Traditions Committee meeting to much earlier in the year to make our recommendations known earlier in the regulatory process.


It should be noted that the January 31st allowance, the limited 14 day window to implement the youth and vet hunts after the end of the season, and the fact that the Department of Fish and Wildlife must send approved state regulations to the Feds by a certain date have combined to make it a more complex and challenging waterfowl regulatory process than was previously the case. 


The Commission also approved a regulatory change that will move up the Late Goose Season by one week in the Balance of State Zone to coincide with the start of the Veterans/Active Military hunt.  This change was also requested by CWA and a number of individuals who participate on the Veterans/Active Military hunt in order to allow them to take geese in addition to ducks. 


The Commission additionally agreed to our recommendation to allow for the take of both ducks and geese during the Veterans/Active Military hunt on Type A Public Refuges and Wildlife Areas.  CWA strongly supported this decision.