Lake Cooper closed to duck hunting

Media release

Thursday, 30 March, 2017

Lake Cooper east of Elmore will be closed to duck hunting from Friday 31 March 2017.

Game Management Authority (GMA) Chief Executive Officer Greg Hyams said the decision to close the lake comes after a recent survey conducted by the GMA identified significant numbers of Freckled Ducks on the lake.

"Surveying bird numbers and closing wetlands where appropriate helps ensure that rare and threatened species are protected. It's part of our shared responsibility to ensure that hunting in Victoria is conducted sustainably and responsibly," Mr Hyams said.

"Hunters are reminded to check for any closures before they depart for their hunt by visiting the GMA website."

Other wetlands closed to protect or provide refuge for significant numbers of threatened birds during the 2017 duck hunting season include: Koorangie State Game Reserve near Kerang, Lake Natimuk and Natimuk Creek Lake Reserve, Lake Muirhead State Game Reserve, Big Reedy Lagoon State Game Reserve and the western half of Tower Hill State Game Reserve. Motor boats have also been prohibited for duck hunting on Lake Linlithgow.

"Government officials will continue to monitor closed wetlands throughout the season. These wetlands may be re-opened to hunting if circumstances change and the number of threatened birds reduces or they move to other locations," Mr Hyams said.

Victoria's 2017 duck season closes on Monday, 12 June. The bag limit is 10 birds per person per day and the hunting of Blue-winged Shoveler is prohibited in 2017 due to the continued low numbers of the species.

GMA Game Officers, Victoria Police and other authorised officers from DELWP, DEDJTR and Parks Victoria will be active throughout private and public land across the state during the season to ensure hunters act in a safe and responsible manner.

Hunters are reminded they must be licensed, use non-toxic shot, adhere to bag limits and hunting times, respect private property and use firearms safely.

The GMA strongly encourages hunters and the broader public to report any suspected illegal hunting activity to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, the Customer Service Centre on 136 186 or via the GMA website at www.gma.vic.gov.au

Media contact: Nick Foster 0417 293 365

Other useful links

Wetland closure web page

Wetland closure locations

Blue-green algae outbreaks

Duck season arrangements

No hunting of Blue-winged Shoveler

Suspected avian botulism at Lake Buloke

Protect yourself from mosquito-borne diseases when hunting