“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
ODFW Enacts Emergency Fishing Regulations Due to Drought
Submitted by: TBC Press
Posted on: 07/06/21
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ODFW is implementing emergency regulations that began July 1 in several angling zones as Oregon faces a severe drought this summer, putting the state’s salmon, steelhead, trout and sturgeon at risk.
These emergency regulations are in effect until Sept. 30, 2021 but may be lifted early or extended depending on conditions.
A summary of emergency regulations follows.
- Fishing will close for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, and trout from 2 p.m. until one hour before sunrise in some rivers and streams in the NW, SW, Willamette, Central, NE zones. (“Hoot owl” regulations to end fishing before water temperatures are at their warmest, which stresses fish.)
- Nehalem River (NW Zone) upstream of the Miami-Foley Road Bridge (and tributaries upstream of bridge) will close to all angling July 1-Sept. 30. The Nehalem Bay/River from the mouth to the Miami Foley Road Bridge remains open under permanent regulations. The North Fork Nehalem is also open with “hoot owl” restrictions above tidewater. All other open streams in the NW Zone will be under “hoot owl” regulations.
- The Deschutes River from the mouth to Sherars Falls will be under “hoot owl” regulations to protect fish.
- Angling closure within 200 feet of mouths of tributaries in portions of the Umpqua and North Umpqua Rivers, to allow fish to gather in these cooler areas without angling pressure.
- Other targeted angling closures in portions of the Rogue and Illinois Rivers to allow for salmon and steelhead facing tough conditions to migrate without angling pressure.
- Hyatt and Howard Prairie Reservoirs in SW Zone are lifting all bag limits on all species due to extremely low water conditions that are becoming unsuitable for fish.
“There is a tough summer and early fall ahead for fish, and we want to take steps to help them survive,” said Shaun Clements, ODFW deputy administrator for inland fisheries. “We appreciate anglers following the regulations and being flexible with their plans to help fish this year.”
This doesn’t mean that all fishing has to stop,” continued Clements. “Except for the Nehalem River, fishing will remain open the morning and early afternoon hours when water temperatures are cooler for fish and people. There are many great fishing opportunities in high lakes, for warmwater fish like, bass, walleye, or crappie, and in lakes and reservoirs stocked with hatchery rainbow trout—though stocking plans may change due to the drought so remember to check the Recreation Report not the online schedule for the latest information.”
Anglers are reminded to use best practices when fishing in areas that may require release of the fish:
- Use appropriate gear and land fish quickly. The longer the fight, the less likely the fish will survive.
- Avoid removing the fish from the water.
- If taking a photo, cradle the fish at water level and quickly take the picture.
- Remove hooks quickly and gently while keeping the fish under water.
- Use long-nosed pliers or hemostats to back out a hook.
- If a fish is hooked deeply, cut the line near the hook.
- Revive fish (point them into slow current or move them back and forth until gills are working).
- When possible, let the fish swim out of your hands.