The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission on Thursday modified the state’s duck hunting zones, moving the bulk of many rice-growing parishes in the south central part of the state from the Coastal Zone and placing them into the East Zone to take advantage of later starting dates.
All modifications will go into effect beginning next year, and current zone alignments will not be affected for the 2015-16 waterfowl season, according to a press release.
Based on public comment, the Commission kept the bulk of the current Coastal Zone in tact. One proposed change had much of Southeast Louisiana east of the Atchafalaya River shifting into the East Zone, but that didn’t happen on Thursday.
Previously, Larry Reynolds, the state’s waterfowl study leader, said rice farmers had requested later starting dates in their area because their second crop wasn’t finished being harvested when duck season started early.
“The rice industry clearly wanted some relief from the early Coastal Zone seasons,” Reynolds said last month.
The newly approved zone boundaries for the 2016-21 duck seasons are as follows:
East Zone: The area of the state between the Mississippi State line and the line going south on Hwy 79 from the Arkansas border to Homer; then south on Hwy 9 to Arcadia; then south on Hwy 147 to Hodge; then south on Hwy 167 to Turkey Creek; then south on Hwy 13 to Eunice; then west On Hwy 190 to Kinder; then south on Hwy 165 to Iowa; then west on I-10 to its junction with Hwy 14 at Lake Charles; then south and east on Hwy 14 to its junction with Hwy 90 in New Iberia; then east on Hwy 90 to the Mississippi State line.
West Zone: The area between the Texas State line and the line going east on I-10 from the Texas border to Hwy 165 at Iowa; then north on Hwy 165 to Kinder; then east on Hwy 190 to Eunice; then north on Hwy 13 to Turkey Creek; then north on Hwy 167 to Hodge; then north on Hwy 147 to Arcadia; then north on Hwy 9 to Homer; then north on Hwy 79 to the Arkansas border.
Coastal Zone: Remainder of state.
As part of the same discussion, because of potential conflicts the revised duck zone changed might present, the Commission approved goose zone boundaries as well, as follows:
North Zone: Portion of the state north of the line from the Texas border at Hwy 190/12 East to Hwy 49; then south on Hwy 49 to I-10; then East on I-10 to I-12; then East on I-12 to 1-10; then East on I-10 to the Mississippi State line.
South Zone: Remainder of state.
Zones for duck hunting can be changed every five years, and zones for goose hunting can be changed yearly, according to the release.
To see maps of the new zones, click here.