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News Release
RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462
For Release: September 18, 2003
Contact: Gail Mastrati 222-4700 ext. 2402
Stephanie Powell 222-4700 ext. 4418

DEM ANNOUNCES DATES FOR THE 2003-2004 WATERFOWL HUNTING SEASONS

PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management's Division of Fish and Wildlife has established the 2003-2004 waterfowl hunting season regulations. The three-way split season for waterfowl begins on October 10. The hunting season for snow geese also opens on October 10 and the season for sea ducks opens on October 11.

Rhode Island waterfowl hunting guides, which include bag limits and season dates, are available at license vendors, as are free migratory bird harvest information program (HIP) permits. Federal law requires all migratory bird hunters to carry a state-issued HIP permit.

All waterfowl hunters age 16 and older are required to carry a valid federal migratory bird hunting and conservation stamp (duck stamp), available for purchase at post offices, and a Rhode Island waterfowl stamp, signed in ink across the face. The Rhode Island stamp may be purchased at license vendors.

Waterfowl hunters are reminded that Rhode Island state law prohibits the discharge of firearms within 500 feet of occupied buildings; this prohibition covers all activities, including those conducted on land, along the shoreline, or in a watercraft.

Season Dates

Dates of the waterfowl hunting three-way split are Friday, October 10 through Monday October 13, November 26 through November 30, and December 6 through January 25.

The regular Canada Goose season will encompass 60 days, split into two segments: one nine-day segment beginning November 22 and the second beginning on December 6. State goose hunting fields are available, in the South Shore Management Area in Matunuck, during the regular goose season, by special permit, which will be available after November 1.

In addition to the regular goose season, there will be a 17-day experimental late resident Canada Goose season beginning on January 30, limited to restricted areas, and by special permit, which will be available from the Division after December 30.

Hunters are reminded that they also need a special permit to hunt the Waterfowl Impoundment in the Great Swamp Management Area in West Kingston.

The special permits can be obtained by sending a self-addressed, stamped, business-size envelope labeled with the appropriate permit - SSMA Goose Permit, Late Goose Season, or, for the Great Swamp impoundment area, Waterfowl Permit - to the DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife, Box 218, West Kingston, RI 02892. Hunters must include their telephone number in their requests.

For more information contact the Division of Fish and Wildlife Headquarters at 789-3094. The waterfowl regulations can also be found on the DEM website, www.state.ri.us/dem, by clicking on "Wildlife/Hunter Ed" on the Topics page.

To purchase a collectable waterfowl stamp or for information on a waterfowl print, contact the Division at 789-3094. Monies collected from the sale of state duck stamps and print/stamp sets is used solely toward funding Rhode Island's waterfowl management programs. Those programs include habitat purchase and management, waterfowl banding, research, and management needs. The funds are also used as match to obtain federal Pittman-Robinson funds for wildlife restoration programs.

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