Illinois Department of Natural Resources
August 2020
August 21, 2020

Waterfowl Management in Illinois Q&A

By Kathy Andrews Wright

Film date:

June 26, 2020


Randy Smith from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Aaron Yetter from the Illinois Natural History Survey

Mike Sertle from Ducks Unlimited

Produced by:

Laura Kammin

Kathy Andrews Wright


Sarah Marjanovic

Questions received in advance of the conversation are listed below, with the time noted should you desire to fast-forward to a topic of interest.

4:32  Has there ever been anything proposed for a single day duck stamp at the state or federal level?

7:53  What value do the questions regarding how much money hunters spend on snow goose hunting in the most recent waterfowl/snow goose survey provide to the IDNR for managing wildlife, habitat and season structures?

12:44  Why is the southern tip of the Central Zone so deep into the Central Zone while the South Zone goes so far north? Why not just make a county either one zone or another as is done for the turkey hunting zones?

16:48  Why not try a split season for at least part of the state?

23:21  Why is Illinois limited to 65 duck days and a goose season that ends no later than January 31st?

27:34  Where does the next five-year waterfowl plan stand, when will the public have a final comment period, and why did the survey and constituent group consensus data differ from the draft proposals?

32:20  What is the possibility of instituting a stop time earlier than what is implemented for daily waterfowl hunting, such as was the practice when the Southern Illinois Quota Zone existed several years ago?

37:48  Can the early goose season be stopped to protect late hatches of Canada geese in southern Illinois?

45:58  How can non-profits work with the State, Ducks Unlimited and Federal refuges such as Crab Orchard Wildlife Refuge to improve waterfowl/wetland management?

 50:14  How do you see changes in weather and flooding patterns over the last 5 to 7 years necessitating a re-look at waterfowl management area practices and plans?

50:34  Do you anticipate that we should be looking at an overhaul of sorts to address these weather-related habitat changes that are proving challenging in some public land waterfowl hunting areas?

57:29  Are there any plans in the works to increase wetland and waterfowl nesting habitat in parts of the state other than along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers, the cypress swamps of southern Illinois, and wetlands in northeast Illinois?

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Kathy Andrews Wright is retired from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources where she was editor of Outdoor Illinois magazine. She is currently the editor of Outdoor Illinois Wildlife Journal and Illinois Audubon magazine.