Lake Martin closed to duck hunting

Media Release

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Lake Martin south of Cressy will be closed to duck hunting from Friday 30 March 2018.

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 the critically endangered Curlew Sandpiper on the lake.

"Lake Martin was closed to hunting over the opening weekend of the season only, due to the presence of 100 birds.  However, since then, the number of Curlew Sandpipers has grown to about 800," Mr Hyams

"This is a critical time in their lifecycle when they put on as much body condition as they can before their migration to Siberia and Alaska so it is important to limit disturbance."

"The lake is drying at the moment and very shallow making it attractive to these migratory waders.

People who were planning to hunt there can consider nearby alternative hunting locations, including Cundare Pool, Lake Corangamite, Lake Struan and Lake Tooliorook".

"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. Full details of all wetland closures can be found at www.gma.vic.gov.au

"Government officials will continue to monitor the closed wetlands throughout the season. If the reason for the closure no longer exists, they will be recommended to be reopened for hunting," Mr Hyams said.

Victoria's 2018 duck season closes on Monday, 11 June. The bag limit is 10 birds per person per day and the hunting of the Blue-winged Shoveler is prohibited in 2018 due to the continued low numbers of the species.

GMA Game Officers, Victoria Police and other authorised officers from DELWP, DEDJTR, Victorian Fisheries Authority and Parks Victoria will be active and monitoring these wetlands across the state during this season to ensure people act in a safe and responsible manner.

Hunters and the general public are urged to report any illegal hunting to the GMA through its website www.gma.vic.gov.au or the Customer Service Centre on 136 186 or by contacting Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or Victoria Police.

Details of the 2018 duck season, including fact sheets in various languages and information about any wetland closures throughout the season, are available on the GMA website.

Media contact: Nick Foster 0417 293 365