Two wetlands set to reopen to duck hunting

Media release

Friday, 25 May 2018

Lake Martin south of Cressy in the south west and a private wetland near Stanhope in the north east will be re-opened on Tuesday 29 May for the 2018 duck hunting season.

Lake Martin was previously closed over the opening weekend, after a survey conducted by the GMA identified significant numbers of the critically endangered Curlew Sandpiper on the lake. Following the opening weekend, Lake Martin was further closed for the season as significant numbers of Curlew Sandpiper remained at the wetland.

A private wetland near Stanhope was also closed to duck hunting from the start of the 2018 duck hunting season to protect significant numbers of threatened Freckled Duck.

Regular monitoring by the GMA and DELWP has shown that both the Curlew Sandpiper at Lake Martin and the Freckled Duck on the private wetland have now left both waterbodies.

GMA Chief Executive Officer Greg Hyams said surveying bird numbers and closing or re-opening wetlands where appropriate helps ensure hunting in Victoria is conducted sustainably and responsibly.

"Hunting can resume at Lake Martin and at the private wetland near Stanhope on Tuesday 29 May until the season closes at half an hour after sunset on 11 June 2018," Mr Hyams said.

"Hunters should note that the private wetland near Stanhope may only be hunted after receiving permission from the landowner. Heavy penalties apply for failing to get permission."

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

"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 or the Victorian Government Gazette."

GMA Game Officers, Victoria Police and other authorised officers from DELWP, DEDJTR and Parks Victoria will remain active throughout private and public land across the state during the season to ensure hunters 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 and re-openings throughout the season, are available on the GMA website.