“Our added winter moisture and active calling period led to a very long nesting and hatching season, starting in late April and extending into early summer, with chicks hatching as late as early July,” O’Dell said. “From a population standpoint, we are out of a deficit for the first time since 2001-2002. Quail are starting to pop up in places they haven’t been seen in a while.
“If you’ve never had the chance to experience what Arizona quail hunting built its name on, then this would be the year to get out and enjoy it.”
Meanwhile, hunters should note that the season for Mearns’ quail doesn’t begin until Dec. 4. It’s summer rainfall that plays a key role in nesting success and population numbers of this species. After a spotty and relatively weak monsoon across southern Arizona, these birds are likely to be abundant only in pockets that received sufficient precipitation this summer.
A valid Arizona hunting or combination hunt and fish license is required for all hunters 10 and older. Those hunters under 10 must either have a valid hunting or combination hunt and fish license, or be accompanied by an adult who possesses a valid hunting or combination hunt and fish license. Licenses can be purchased online or at license dealers statewide. A youth combination hunt and fish license (ages 10 to 17) is $5.
The general bag limit is 15 quail per day in the aggregate, of which no more than eight may be Mearns’ quail (when the Mearns’ season opens Dec. 4). The general possession limit is 45 quail in the aggregate after opening day, of which no more than 15 Gambel’s, scaled or California quail in the aggregate may be taken in any one day. After the opening of the Mearns’ season, the 45-quail possession limit may include 24 Mearns’ quail, of which no more than eight may be taken in any one day.
More quail-hunting information can be found on the department’s website at https://www.azgfd.com/Hunting/. Another resource for both new and experienced hunters alike is “An Introduction to Hunting Arizona’s Small Game.” Written by Randall D. Babb, the 196-page, full-color book covers where and how to hunt small game birds (like quail), squirrels, rabbits, ducks and geese. It also includes how to prepare and cook your harvest, with illustrations and recipes. The book can be ordered for $16.95 at www.azgfd.gov/publications.
Publishers Notes: OUT OF STATE HUNTERS, FISHERMEN & OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS; Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, there could be limitations for OUT of STATE hunters, fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts to include a 14-day quarantine requirement or negative COVID-19 testing alternative. Please check with the State's Department of Natural Resources BEFORE you travel or apply for the 2020 Fall Hunts.
Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are that of the authors and not necessarily that of TBC Press
Pennsylvania 2021 Walleye and Sauger Season Opens May 1st
Submitted by: TBC Press
Posted on: 04/05/21
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Walleye fishing is regulated under Commonwealth Inland Waters regulations, with a minimum harvest size of 15-inches and a daily creel limit of six fish. For Sauger, the Walleye’s smaller cousin which is naturally present only in the Three Rivers area of western Pennsylvania, harvest is regulated with a 12-inch minimum size limit and a six fish daily creel limit.
Differences in each fish’s appearance is subtle, with one exception; the Sauger’s dorsal or back fin possesses many pea size black spots on the fin membrane which are not evident in Walleyes. Other differences include several darker mottled saddle patches on the Sauger’s back with the Walleye’s back typically uniformly colored. For more details about fish identification, visit the Pennsylvania Fishes page at www.fishandboat.com. Walleye fishing opportunities exist across the Commonwealth from the Allegheny, Susquehanna and Delaware Rivers to Lake Erie, Pymatuning Reservoir, Blue Marsh Lake, Raystown Lake, Lake Wallenpaupack and many other locations. Many large and medium size reservoirs and flowing water river and stream sections are biannually stocked with fingerling Walleyes as described in our Walleye Plan.
2020 Lake Erie creel limits for Walleye were announced by the PFBC in April and allow for the legal harvest of six Walleye per day exceeding 15 inches. Lake Erie harvest limits are set annually by the PFBC based upon abundance estimates derived from collaborative assessment programs that include all jurisdictions bordering Lake Erie including Pennsylvania. PFBC biologists note that several abundant year classes, especially the 2018 year-class representing two-year-old fish, will comprise angler catch.
Biologists note that two-year-old Walleyes will be around 15-inches in length or less, with some not reaching the 15-inch size limit. Overall, PFBC Biologists report that conditions remain favorable for Lake Erie Walleye anglers who have experienced record high harvest rates since 2017.
Publishers Notes: Our country is still battling COVID-19. To avoid the spread of this virus and continue to enjoy outdoor activities, ALL outdoor enthusiasts (man, woman, child) should follow the guidelines set by nps.gov. These guidelines include; social distancing, the Leave No Trace principles, including pack-in and pack-out, to keep outdoor spaces safe and healthy.
All signs point to a successful 2021 season ahead as the Pennsylvania Walleye and Sauger fishing season is set to begin May 1st.
To prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, all anglers participating in Walleye and Sauger fishing are reminded to practice social distancing under the guidance of the PA Department of Health and CDC. The PFBC recommends that anglers wear a mask and fish only with immediate family living in the same household. When fishing around others from shore or on a boat, maintain a physical distance of at least six feet between individuals. Anglers planning to use the services of a guide or charter boat should consult the Governor’s guidance for life-sustaining businesses and contact businesses in advance to ensure that services are available.