The 60-day 2011-12 waterfowl season was tentatively approved yesterday (Aug. 4) during the monthly Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting.

The dates will be ratified by a declaration of emergency from the commission, after approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

In the West Zone, season dates will be:

• Nov. 12-Dec. 4.
• Dec. 17-Jan. 22

The East Zone season will be:

• Nov. 19-27
• Dec. 10-Jan. 29

A proposal to move the Youth waterfowl weekend to the weekend during the splits was revised by LDWF based on public comments, which favored keeping that hunt prior to the season opening dates in both zones.

The revised Youth waterfowl weekend dates are Nov. 5-6 in the West Zone and Nov. 12-13 in the East Zone.

The daily bag limit on ducks is six, and may include no more than four mallards (no more than two of which may be females), two pintails, one canvasback, one mottled duck, one black duck, three wood ducks, two scaup and two redheads.

The daily bag limit on coots is 15. The daily bag limit for mergansers is five, of which only two may be hooded mergansers. The merganser limits are in addition to the daily bag limit for ducks.

The possession limit on ducks, coots and mergansers is twice the daily bag limit.

Light geese and white-fronted geese will have a 74-day season.

West Zone hunting will take place:

• Nov. 12-Dec. 4.
• Dec. 17-Feb. 5

The East Zone goose season will be:
• Nov. 5-27
• Dec. 10-Jan. 29

The daily bag limit on light geese is 20, with no possession limit. The daily limit on white-fronted geese is two, with a possession limit of four. When the Canada goose season is open, the limit is two dark geese (white-fronted and Canada) of which no more than one can be a Canada goose.

The Canada goose season will be 44 days, and run from Dec. 17 to Jan. 29 statewide except for a small closure area in southwest Louisiana.

The daily limit for Canada geese is one in aggregate with white-fronted geese and the possession limit is two in aggregate with white-fronted geese. So the daily bag limit will allow two dark geese (white-fronted and Canada geese), no more than one of which may be a Canada goose.

The Statewide Conservation Order for light geese will run from Dec. 5-16in the West Zone. The second segment in the West Zone will run from Feb. 6 to March 11.

The first conservation order segment in the East Zone will run from Nov. 28 to Dec. 9, and the second segment will be from Jan. 30 to March 11.

During this conservation season, only snow, blue and Ross geese may be taken and daily bag and possession limits are eliminated. The use of electronic calls and unplugged shotguns is permitted. Shooting hours during the conservation order begin one-half hour before sunrise and extend until one-half hour after sunset.

Rails may be taken from Sept. 10-25 and again from Nov. 12-Jan. 4. For King and Clapper rails, the daily limit is 15 in the aggregate with a possession limit of 30. Sora and Virginia rails have a daily and possession limit of 25 in the aggregate.

Gallinule season will be open from Sept. 10-25 and again from Nov. 12-Jan. 4. The daily bag limit is 15 with a possession limit of 30.

Snipe may be taken in the West Zone from Nov. 5-Dec. 7 and Dec. 17-Feb. 28 in the second segment. In the East Zone, the first segment will run from Nov. 5-30 with a second segment running Dec. 10-Feb. 28. The daily bag limit is 8 and the possession limit is 16.

An extended falconry season for ducks, rails and gallinules will take place from Nov. 5-Feb. 3.