Author Topic: May 2018 Waterfowl Report to NJ Div F&G Council  (Read 145 times)

Meadowmucker

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May 2018 Waterfowl Report to NJ Div F&G Council
« on: June 18, 2018, 09:27:44 AM »
WATERFOWL - STUDY PLAN IV
Ted Nichols, Supervising Biologist
Lisa Clark, Assistant Biologist
Waterfowl Population Surveys (Job IV-A)
Atlantic Flyway Breeding Waterfowl Survey
Division personnel and cooperators completed the New Jersey portion of the annual Atlantic Flyway Breeding Waterfowl Survey. All Atlantic Flyway states from New Hampshire to Virginia have participated in this survey since 1989. Results of this survey are used to document changes in the abundance and distribution of the primary breeding waterfowl species in the Atlantic Flyway. Survey data are also used in conjunction with other waterfowl population data to set waterfowl hunting seasons.
In New Jersey, this survey is completed by recording waterfowl observed in 105 randomly located, one square kilometer plots, that are located throughout the state. During 2018, plots were completed from 13 April to 11 May. Data were submitted to the US Fish and Wildlife Service for compilation. Results will be available in the next monthly segment.
Program biologists conducted a 2-platform survey (ground versus air) study in 36 of the 40 plots located within the salt marsh stratum. Traditionally, salt marsh plots are done by boat/ground and are logistically difficult to complete since they can only be accessed and surveyed during the high tide cycle. In addition, an individual salt marsh plot done by ground takes nearly 1 hour to complete not counting travel time by boat and/or vehicle between plots. Aerial surveys are time efficient in that a survey plot can be done in about 5 minutes; however, aircraft rental costs are expensive. During 2018 and 2019, a subset of salt marsh plots
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will be sampled twice, by helicopter and by boat/ground to compare observation results using the 2 survey platforms. Paired helicopter/ground survey design accounted for observer, time of day, and other variables. Results will be available in a later report.
2018 Light Goose Conservation Order Harvest Survey
During the spring of 2018, the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife (Division) implemented a statewide Conservation Order (CO) for light geese under the authority of the US Fish and Wildlife Service as promulgated in 50 CFR 21.60 (E). 2018 was the tenth consecutive year that the CO was held. The CO began (16 February) the day after the close of the special winter Canada goose season and closed 7 April. Participants were permitted to take light geese without bag limits using unplugged guns, electronic calls, and shooting hours extending to Ĺ hour after sunset. As part of the Federal requirement, the Division was responsible for reporting on participation and take. Federal requirements to report the numbers of light geese taken with special methods were suspended following 2015.
The Division required CO participants to obtain a $2.00 permit as a provision to conduct the harvest survey. CO participants could obtain their permits on the Division web site or through the mail. Beginning 1 March, participants could report their harvest and activity either online through the Divisionís web site or by mailing a paper activity diary that they received as their CO permit. The web reporting response period closed 30 April and paper diaries were accepted through 19 May when estimates were derived.
A total of 783 CO permits were issued. 83% of permit holders actually pursued geese during the CO expending 1,830 hunter-days. An estimated 7,055 light geese were harvested.
Atlantic Flyway Council Technical Section (Job IV-C)
T. Nichols coordinated personnel needs for Atlantic Population Canada Goose Monitoring Programs in summer Atlantic Population Canada goose banding on the Ungava peninsula of northern Quebec.
Extension Services and Miscellaneous
T. Nichols completed the Federal Grant narrative, budget, Section 7 and NEPA compliance documents for the Bureauís Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Grant.
L. Clark completed a peer-review for a paper on Atlantic brant ecology for The Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management.
T. Nichols prepared a Division response for Directorís signature concerning the E.B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge Draft Hunt Plan.
T. Nichols prepared an article for the Division web page concerning Canada goose hunting regulations across the three waterfowl hunting zones in New Jersey:
http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/artcagoregs.htm
Regards
John

Geoffroy

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Re: May 2018 Waterfowl Report to NJ Div F&G Council
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2018, 10:19:18 PM »
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