Moto-Duck Ban in California
(Waterfowl Seasons Set for 2001-2002)
California waterfowl hunters will not be allowed to use the popular spinning wing duck decoys until December 1. Wind powered devices, kites or any other decoy that does not use a spinning blade or wing are still allowed.

These were part of the regulations adopted by the California Fish and Game Commission on August 24.

Following a series of public meetings that began last year regarding the possible regulation of spinning wing duck decoys, the use of the motorized decoys are delayed until after waterfowl season for most areas is well underway. The restriction follows the recommendation from Department of Fish and Game (DFG) biologists, and allows biologists to gather more data on the device's effects.

DFG biologists have said the ban will allow them to measure the effect of not using the decoys on early-season mallard harvest and then compare success rates with previous seasons' data when they were allowed. Over the last three years, the use of spinning wing duck decoys, also known as moto-ducks, or roto-ducks, has increased. Some hunters claim that widespread use of the devices will dramatically increase the waterfowl harvest, resulting in the need to reduce bag limits and seasons. Others, however, argue the devices will help recruit and maintain hunters by increasing hunter success.

Seasons and Bag Limits

Waterfowl hunting dates, bag limits and zones are set for the upcoming 2001-2002 season with highlights including a new bag limit on Aleutian Canada geese (except in special management areas), a limited 38-day season on canvasbacks, and a modified Northeastern California Zone boundary.

Hunting season, bag limits, and zones were developed during another series of meetings with the Commission that began in June. Waterfowl season highlights include:


Balance of State, Southern San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California Zones open from October 13, 2001 to January 20, 2002.

In the Northeastern California Zone, the season is October 6, 2001 to January 13, 2002.

In the Colorado River Zone, the season is October 15, 2001 to January 20, 2002.

Canvasbacks season opens from October 27, 2001 to December 3, 2001 in the Northeastern California Zone, and from December 14, 2001 to January 20, 2002 in all other zones.

Bag limit
• Seven ducks per day, which includes a maximum of:
• two mallard hens (or two Mexican ducks in Colorado River Zone)
• one pintail, either sex
• two redheads, either sex
• four scaup
• one canvasback, either sex (during its 38-day season)


Balance of State and Southern San Joaquin Valley zones open from November 3, 2001 to January 20, 2002.

Northeastern California Zone for white-fronts and cacklers opens from October 6, 2001 to November 18, 2001. The Northeastern California Zone season for geese other than white-fronts and cacklers is from October 6, 2001 to January 13, 2002.

For Southern California Zone the season opens from October 20, 2001 to January 20, 2002.

For Colorado River Zone, the season is from October 15, 2001 to January 20, 2002.

Bag limit
• Balance of State, Southern San Joaquin Valley, and Northeastern California zones, bag limits are three geese per day, which may include:
• three white geese, two dark geese, with not more than one small Canada goose, including Aleutian Canada geese.

• Bag limit for Southern California Zone and Colorado River Zone is five per day, with a maximum of either three white or three dark.

Commissioners agreed to remove Indian Valley in Plumas County, and Sierra Valley in Plumas and Sierra counties from the Northeastern California Zone. The areas are now included in the Balance of State Zone.

The new regulation booklets are scheduled for release in October. For more complete information, waterfowl hunters can visit the DFG's Internet website at

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