Job Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, Texas. Texas Waterfowl Program. Job No. 1: Waterfowl Harvest Recommendations
Travis, Charles D. and Bobby G. Alexander
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During the 1984 goose survey a total of 1,239,400 geese were observed in Texas. The 1984-85 Midwinter Waterfowl Survey indicated 3,076,100 waterfowl wintering in Texas. In comparison to the 1983084 survey mallards were down 3 percent, pintails down 4 percent, green-winged teal up 25 percent and mottled ducks down 37 percent. All duck species combined were down 12 percent over the numbers recorded in 1983-84. The 1985 spring white-fronted goose survey provided a population index of 154,000 white-fronts of which 133, 200 (86%) were in Nebraska, 7,500 (5%) in both South Dakota and Kansas, 3,800 (2%) in Texas and 2,000 (1%) in Louisiana. The estimate from the Texas waterfowl harvest survey indicated a kill of 778,606 waterfowl (including 652,486 ducks and 119,561 geese) from the 1984-85 season. This indicates a 27% increase in the total waterfowl harvest, a 26% increase in the duck harvest and a 23% increase in the goose harvest from 1983-84. A sample of 2,816 indicator duck gizzards were examined for presence of spent shotshell pellets. Lead pellets were found in approximately 11%. Steel pellets were found in 6.7%. Current levels of activity by sportsmen (including airboat operation) had little effect on waterfowl abundance but did influence distribution. Airboats temporarily moved waterfowl from one area to another, but weather influence waterfowl abundance more than any other factor evaluated. A third annual waterfowl hunter attitude questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of individuals who had purchased a 1983-84 Texas Waterfowl Stamp. Analysis of the responses is currently pending. Recommendations for waterfowl hunting regulations were developed based upon available data from waterfowl resource surveys.