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December 26, 1997     Cape Gazette
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December 26, 1997

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Survey: Prime Hook Refuge ankle-deep in waterfowl Delaware's 1997.1998 Hunting Seasons OUTDOORS Michael Short half of the state's snow geese and nearly half of the state's ducks found in the most recent survey. Prime Hook biologist Annie Larsen likes to joke that the refuge motto has become "ducks are us." Statewide, there were 11,050 black ducks, 15,139 mallards, 22,313 pintails, 25,242 greenwing teal, 1,475 brant and 663 tundra swans found in the December count. Delaware's latest waterfowl survey turned up a vast number of geese, including 149,000 snow geese, in the Prime Hook area. The count also showed good num- bers of ducks, although fewer than last year's count, and more Cana- da geese than expected. All in all, the news was good. In fact, the high numbers of water- fowl may be contributing to the presence of as many as nine ea- gles at Prime Hook Wildlife Refuge because of the abundant birds for the eagles to dine on. (See separate story). The Dec. 14 aerial survey was conducted by Delaware and cov- ers the whole state. Conducted by air, the count is still the best way to keep track of waterfowl trends and populations. Those trends show slowly in- creasing numbers of Canadas with approximately 57,000 birds re- ported this month. With a good nesting season last year, the birds may be on the way to a slow, but steady recovery. If so, it would be some of the best hunting and envi- ronmental news of this, or any year. Most of those were spaced throughout the state with the biggest numbers found in the Bombay Hook area (from Route 6 to Listen Point) That's in contrast to snow geese, where the vast ma- jority were concentrated in the Prime Hook area (Big Stone Beach to Broadkill River). All together, there were 235,403 snow geese found and 86,884 ducks. At this time last year, there were 135,377 ducks, but only about 75,000 snow geese in Delaware. The number of Canada geese is nearly double that of last year's aerial survey con- ducted in December. Prime Hook continues to be a waterfowl haven, with more than Fishing still sizzles The fall and winter fishing for striped bass and tautog remains good. Joe Morris at Lewes Har- bour Marina notes that there are still striped bass being caught in Delaware Bay, including some keeper fish. Stripers may well be here until early spring. The best bait fight now is a bucktail or other lures like Hopkins lures. The striped bass go through pe- riods when they prefer artificials to live baits. There's little else to report on the' fishing front, although wreck fishermen are still finding some good catches of tautog. Some boats are limiting out on fish. TIDES Roosevelt Oak Inlet Orchard 12/261 12/281 12/291 12/301 Indian River Inlet Rehoboth Beach Brant--Nov. 24 to Jail. 20. Daily limit two birds, posses- sion limit of four. Snow geese----Oct. 8-11, Oct. 20-Nov. 13, Nov. 24-Jan. 17, Feb. 10-March 10. Daily limit ten birds, possession limit of 30. Canada geese--Sept. 1-15, but only for resident geese. Daily limit five, possession limit of 10. There is no season for migratory Canada geese. Whitetail deermArchery season, Sept I-Oct. 11, Oct. 20-Nov. 13, Nov. 24-Dec. 13, Dec. 22-Jan. 10 and Jan. 22- 31. Muzzleloader seasonm Oct. 13-0ct. 18, Jan. 19-21. Shotgun season--Nov. 14- Nov. 22, Jan. 12-17. A special antlerless seasonhDec. 15 to Dec. 20. Daily limit of two. No more than one antlered buck (one or both antlers at least three inches long) may be taken during all seasons com- bined (except with a quality buck tag). No more than two deer may be taken during all seasons combined except by using Delaware antlerless deer tags. Ducks, Mergansers, CootsmBasic daily limit of six. Oct. 1-4, Oct. 31-Nov. 8, Nov. 24-Jan. 17. The daily limit of six ducks, excepting mergansers, shall in- clude: one black duck, one canvasback, four mallards, in- cluding no more than two hen mallards, two wood ducks, two pintails, two red heads, one mottled duck, one fulvous tree duck and no harlequin ducks (closed season). MergansersDaily limit five birds, possession limit of 10 of which one daily and two in possession may be hooded mergansers. Coots---Daily limit 15, pos- session limit of 30 total. Bobwhite quail--Nov. 24- Feb. 7. Daily limit of six. Quail, pheasant or rabbit hunters must wear at least 400 square inches of hunter orange displayed on head, chest and back when hunting during any deer gun season. Gray squirrel-- Sept. 15- Oct. 11, Oct. 20-Nov. 1, Nov. 24-Dec. 13, Dec. 22-Jan. 10. Daily limit of four squirrels. In September and October, shot- guns statewide or south of C & D Canal, .22 rimfire or muz- zleloading rifle up to 36 cal. may be used. From November.-January, only shotguns may be used statewide. Rabbit-- Nov. 24-Feb. 7. Daily limit of four. Ring-necked pheasant, males only--- Nov. 24-Jan. 10. Daily limit of two. Dove--- Sept. 1-27, Oct. 20- Nov. 1, Dec. 12-Jan. 10. Limit 12, possession limit 24. Woodcockm Oct. 20-Nov. 1, Nov. 24-Dec. 10. Bag limit three, possession six. Crows.-- June 26-March 28. Thursday, Friday, Saturday shooting. Sea ducks-- Sept. 18-Jan. 20. Daily limit seven, posses- sion of 14. Limit of four scot- ers daily and possession limit eight. Hours one half hour be- fore sunrise to sunset. Est. 1958 BEAZZARD Electrical Contractor L.P.I. Cert. 959 645-8457 645-9060 1-800-610-8457 CERTIFIED LIGHTNING PROTECTION P.O. Box 252, Lewes, DE 19958 . Printed T.Shirts & Sporlswear Geoff Ve00on now 000000vlent operat00n as Logo Artwork Design QuiCk Service Quality Work Reasonable Prices 645-2959 DINING OUT? Consult Cape Cuisine for the best that the Cape Region has to offer