Part of Lake Connewarre will reopen to duck hunting prior to the end the Victorian season.but part of Lake Bolac will be closed due to the presence of a significant number of threatened birds.
Members of Geelong Field & Game have been constantly monitoring and reporting on changed conditions in relation to the Curlew Sandpiper in a bid to have the area known as Hospital Swamps opened.
The media statement from the Game Management Authority is below which includes maps of the areas.
One wetland to reopen and one to partially close to duck hunting
The Victorian Government will reopen part of Lake Connewarre near Geelong to duck hunting and has now partially closed a section of Lake Bolac south of Willaura due to the presence of a significant number of threatened birds.
The previously closed area of Lake Connewarre State Game Reserve known as Hospital Swamps will reopen to duck hunting on Tuesday 14 May as recent monitoring has shown that the large number of critically endangered Curlew Sandpiper previously on the wetland have now left the area.
The northern section of Lake Bolac will close to duck hunting tomorrow due to the presence of a significant number of Freckled Duck, (see map below).
The rest of Lake Bolac will remain open to hunting, however, hunting hours will be restricted to between 8:00am and 5:00pm from tomorrow to remove the risk of Freckled Duck being misidentified by hunters during low light conditions in the morning and evening.
Hunting from boats at Lake Bolac is still prohibited due to the presence of a large number of threatened Blue-billed Duck which tend to reside in the middle of the lake. However, hunters are permitted to use non-motorised boats to retrieve downed birds hunted from the shoreline.
Game Management Authority CEO Graeme Ford said regularly monitoring Victoria’s wetlands helps to ensure that threatened species are protected and duck hunting remains sustainable.
“Government officials monitor open and closed wetlands throughout the season. The hunting status of these wetlands may change if circumstances change," Mr Ford said.
“Changing hunting times or methods such as prohibiting hunting from boats also helps to ensure that threatened species are better protected, and duck hunting remains sustainable.”
“In summary, Hospital swamps at Lake Connewarre will now open to duck hunting next Tuesday, the northern section of Lake Bolac will close and on the rest of the lake, hunting from boats will remain prohibited and hunting times will be restricted to between 8:00am and 5:00pm,” Mr Ford said.
“As always, hunters should be on the lookout for protected species and clearly identify their target before shooting. If you are NOT SURE, DON’T SHOOT.”
Victoria's 2019 duck season closes half an hour after sunset on Sunday 19 May.
GMA Game Officers, Victoria Police and other authorised officers from partner agencies will remain active throughout private and public land across the state for the remainder of the season to ensure people act in a safe and responsible manner.
For more information on the duck season, please visit www.gma.vic.gov.au