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RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade St., Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462
DEM ANNOUNCES WATERFOWL REGULATIONS FOR THE UPCOMING SEASON
HIP Permits Now At Vendors - Must Be Carried By All Migratory Bird Hunters; Short Delay in Duck Stamp Printing May Give Hunters a Grace Period
PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management's Division of Fish and Wildlife has established regulations for the 2000-2001 waterfowl hunting season, which begins in October.
There are two changes to waterfowl regulations. The daily limit for merganser has been reduced from six to five birds, only one of which may be a hooded merganser, in accordance with the federal framework for these birds. Also, in North Kingstown, the season for waterfowl hunting on Belleville Pond has been shortened from November 15 to January 17, and firearms must remain cased until individuals reach the hunting area.
Due to a printing delay, the delivery of waterfowl stamps to vendors is projected to occur during the first week of October -- in time for opening day, Friday, October 6th. However, to accommodate hunters, DEM will give them a grace period of four days during the early season only, when hunters will not need to show an affixed waterfowl stamp.
Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) Permits have been available at all licensed vendors. DEM reminds migratory bird hunters that HIP permits are required by federal law and all hunters must carry one while hunting migratory game birds. In Rhode Island, this includes ducks, geese, rails, coot, snipe, doves, and woodcock. The permits must be carried as of September 30.
To obtain a permit, hunters must fill out a revised and more user-friendly HIP questionnaire provided by the vendor, which includes their previous season's hunting success.
Hunters will then receive a free, numbered HIP stub to carry with the current hunting license. Completed permits will be sent to the US Fish and Wildlife Service for review, and the service will select a sample of hunters to participate in a more intensive survey for the upcoming season.
The Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program, which began two years ago, is designed to gather comprehensive information on the impact of hunting on migratory gamebird resources, according to Michael Lapisky, Deputy Chief of Wildlife Resources at DEM's Division of Fish and Wildlife. "The HIP permit will allow the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and states nationwide to gather important harvest information on migratory game birds, which is critical for the effective management of those populations," Lapisky said. "The program is essential for ensuring the future of migratory bird hunting," he added, "and we in the Division of Fish and Wildlife thank Rhode Island hunters for their participation in this new and valuable national program."
Abstracts detailing the upcoming waterfowl season and bag limits will be available at license vendors by the first of October, and at DEM's Division of Fish and Wildlife at the Oliver Stedman Government Center on Tower Hill Road, in Wakefield. For more information, contact the Division at 789-3094.