Dry conditions lead to restrictions for 2019 duck season

The Game Management Authority (GMA) has today outlined the arrangements for the 2019 duck hunting season including changes to the season length and the daily bag limit.

Prevailing and persistent dry conditions across eastern Australia has reduced duck numbers, breeding and wetland habitat in Victoria. As a result, the GMA advised the Victorian Government that a modified season was necessary to reduce the seasonal harvest, to ensure duck hunting is conducted responsibly and duck numbers remain sustainable.

The 2019 duck hunting season will be modified from twelve to nine weeks commencing on Saturday 16 March 2019 and closing on Sunday 19 May 2019.

Hunters will be restricted to four game ducks per day on the opening weekend, with a five game duck per day bag limit for the remainder of the nine week season. The hunting of Blue-winged Shoveler will again be prohibited throughout the entire season.

As per last year, hunting on the opening weekend of the 2019 season will commence at 9.00 am on Saturday and 8.00 am on Sunday across the whole of Victoria as part of a two-year trial of opening the season during daylight hours. For the rest of the season, hunting times will revert to the standard period of half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset.

The settings for the 2019 duck season are based on analysis of habitat and waterbird surveys conducted across eastern Australia and other data relating to game duck abundance, habitat distribution and climate.

Hunters are reminded of the laws introduced last year requiring them to immediately retrieve all game ducks that they shoot and to at least salvage the breast meat from a duck to ensure that harvested game is not wasted. These laws formalised what is already standard practice for responsible hunters.

The GMA and partner agencies, including Victoria Police, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions and Parks Victoria, will be out again in force in 2019 to ensure compliance with both hunting and public safety laws.

As in previous years, the GMA will continue to monitor conditions in the lead up to and during the season. Where warranted, wetlands may be closed to hunting to protect significant concentrations of waterbirds.

Details of the 2019 duck season, including fact sheets and information about any wetland closures throughout the season, will be available on the GMA website in due course.

Media contact: Nick Foster 03 8392 2237 | M: 0417 293 365

2019 Victoria Duck Hunting

Season Arrangements

Season Length

Season opens - Saturday 16 March 2019

Season closes - Sunday 19 May 2019

Start times on opening weekend

9.00 am on Saturday and 8.00 am on Sunday. Hunting must cease half an hour after sunset over the opening weekend.

Start times for the rest of the season

Half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset.

Bag limit on opening weekend

Four game ducks per day on the opening weekend.

Bag limit for the rest of the season

Five game ducks per day.

Game Duck Species permitted to be taken

Seven of the eight species of game duck can be hunted during 2019. They are, Pacific Black Duck, Mountain Duck, Chestnut Teal, Grey Teal, Pink-eared Duck, Wood Duck and Hardhead.

Game duck species prohibited to be taken in 2019

Blue-winged Shoveler.

Hunters MUST

Immediately retrieve all game ducks that they shoot and salvage at least the breast meat of the ducks they harvest.