American Black Ducks (Anas rubripes) in Yonkers, New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
February 7, 2017
For the first time since 1982, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will allow U.S. waterfowl hunters in the Mississippi Flyway and Atlantic Flyway the opportunity to harvest two (2) American black ducks per day as part of their daily bag limit of six (6) total ducks for the 2017-18 season.
New Jersey is an important migration and wintering area for black ducks and they are often referred to as the "bread and butter" duck of salt marsh hunters. About 90,000 birds, which is about 40% of the black ducks in the US portion of the Atlantic Flyway, winter in New Jersey. Black ducks comprise 17% of the annual harvest of New Jersey duck hunters, second only to mallards.
Over the next few months, stakeholders will meet with Division staff who will then present recommended 2017-18 migratory bird season dates and bag limits to the Fish and Game Council. Final regulations will be available on the Division's web page by mid-April as well as in the 2017-18 Hunting and Trapping Digest (published in August).
Background on the reason for this regulatory change is provided in the flyer below, developed by the Black Duck Adaptive Harvest Management Working Group.
Black Duck 2017-18 Regulations Flyer (pdf, 485kb)