Annual General Meeting - Tundra Swan Harvest

Buddy Boy

Well-Known Member
#1
Hello Everyone,

I presented four (4) proposals last fall for consideration by the Ontario Waterfowl Advisory Committee (OWAC) and I posted these proposals within this forum for your consideration.

1) My proposal for a Mourning Dove harvest in the Province of Ontario received overall support by the OWAC members and this proposal is now moving forward.

2) My proposal for an Earlier Start to the Southern Waterfowl Season so that we could have a better opportunity to harvest some Blue Winged Teal did not receive overall support by the OWAC members due to a decreasing Ontario Blue Winged Teal population ... although the continental Blue Winged Teal population is near the highest it has ever been recorded.

3) My proposal for a Tundra Swan harvest in the Province of Ontario did not receive support by the OWAC members but it was at least discussed briefly and that was a start.

4) My proposal to remove Mute Swans from the List of Protected Species received favourable support by the OWAC members and it is now up to the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) to make the decision.

I have sought support from Delta Waterfowl to pursue my proposal for a Tundra Swan harvest in Ontario further (perhaps Manitoba and Saskatchewan as well) and I have pleged substantial financial resources to them for this proposal so that Canadian waterfowlers can participate in our share of the annual continental harvest.

I am now seeking additional support from members of the Long Point Waterfowlers Association as well as from other Ontario waterfowlers.

My proposal has been accepted as an agenda item for our Annual General Meeting to be held on April 16, 2011.

See you there.




J. Katchin, D.V.M.

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20 Balsam Trail, RR 1
Port Rowan, Ontario
N0E 1M0

February 05, 2011

Re: Annual General Meeting Agenda Item

Dear Mr. J. Malcolm:

I am writing to you as the President of the Long Point Waterfowlers Association regarding my proposal for a Tundra Swan recreational harvest in the Province of Ontario.

I am requesting that my proposal (copy enclosed) be added as an agenda item for discussion at our next Annual General Meeting to be held in April of this year.

Hopefully the Board of Directors will agree that my proposal for a limited (tag only) Tundra Swan (Eastern Population) recreational harvest in the Province of Ontario has merit after reviewing the documentation provided to them and they will recommend that our members support my proposal as well. A letter of support to Mr. J. Hughes (Head of Population Management, Canadian Wildlife Service) similar to the one that you submitted last fall supporting Dr. D. Ankney's proposal for an increase to the Canvasback and Redhead bag limits in Ontario would be greatly appreciated.

I have also requested that my proposal be added as an agenda item to the OFAH Zone J meeting that the Long Point Area Fish and Game Club will be hosting later this year.

An opportunity to participate in a limited (tag only) Tundra Swan (Eastern Population) recreational harvest in Norfolk County ... specifically within the Long Point Bay area ... will be an economic benefit to the Waterfowl Management Unit within the Crown Marsh as well as to the tourism industry in general. Other selected locations in south western Ontario such as the Rondeau Bay area and the Lake St. Clair area may also have an economic benefit from my proposal.

I have recently established The Dr. Jerome Katchin Waterfowl Foundation including a Mission Statement which describes my goal. Consequently ... you may find my letters of January 30, 2011 and February 02, 2011 to Mr. R. Olson (President, Delta Waterfowl Foundation) regarding my proposal of further interest (The e-mail versions of my original signed letters were sent to you).

The Americans are currently using the Canadian quota (which is 41% of the 9600 annual tags allotted for North America) as there is currently no Tundra Swan (Eastern Population) recreational harvest anywhere in Canada. There are also only 5 States that currently have a Tundra Swan (Eastern Population) recreational harvest with North Carolina taking the "lion's share" at 5000 tags.

There is however an aboriginal Tundra Swan (Eastern Population) harvest in Canada within the northern territories as well as in Alaska (minimum). The aboriginal allotment is equivalent to the entire North American Tundra Swan (Eastern Population) recreational harvest ... go figure that one!

There is (as far as I know) another three (3) States that currently have a Tundra Swan (Western Population) recreational harvest and I suspect that they are also using the Canadian quota as well. I will look into getting a copy of the Management Plan for the Western Population of Tundra Swans.

There are also Management Plans for the two (2) populations of Trumpeter Swans (Interior Population and Rocky Mountain Population) which currently have no recreational harvest due to their limited but ever expanding population numbers.

Related to my proposal for a Tundra Swan recreational harvest in the Province of Ontario is my proposal to remove Mute Swans from the List of Protected Species (copy enclosed) that you may of interest as Long Point Waterfowl has already performed the research and has published their findings supporting my proposal.

I trust that the Board of Directors after reviewing my proposal and the supporting documentation that I have provided will agree that my proposal is worthwhile pursuing further.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,




J. Katchin, D.V.M.

PS This is the e-mail version of my original signed letter.

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20 Balsam Trail, RR 1
Port Rowan, Ontario
N0E 1M0

October 05, 2010

Mr. J. Hughes
Head of Population Management
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment Canada
335 River Road
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H3

Re: Proposal for a Tundra Swan Recreational Harvest in the Province of Ontario

Dear Mr. J. Hughes:

Further to our telephone conversation of September 07, 2010 and my letter of September 28, 2010 I am writing to present a proposal for a Tundra Swan Recreational Harvest in the Province of Ontario.

I had originally inquired about a Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus) harvest during a conversation with Mr. J. Sullivan (Enforcement Officer, Canadian Wildlife Service) at the Toronto Hunting Show about ten (10) years ago. He advised me that the current Tundra Swan population at that time could easily support a sustainable recreational harvest and that it was just a matter for the politicians to request such a harvest.

I contacted Dr. S. Petrie (Executive Director, Long Point Waterfowl) earlier this year and Dr. D. Ankney (Chairperson, Scientific Advisory Committee, Long Point Waterfowl) more recently to seek their opinions regarding my proposal for a Tundra Swan Recreational Harvest in the Province of Ontario.

They agreed that such a harvest is sustainable in the Province of Ontario and advised me that provisions for such a harvest are included within the Management Plan for the Eastern Population of Tundra Swans.

However ... they also advised me that my proposal could invoke some strong public opposition.

I have subsequently obtained additional information on Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) as well as Tundra Swans from Long Point Waterfowl and a copy of the Management Plan for the Eastern Population of Tundra Swans.

A copy of the Executive Summary from the Management Plan for the Eastern Population of Tundra Swans is enclosed for your convenience.

I would like to draw to your attention the section regarding the primary management goal:

The primary management goal is to maintain EP tundra swans at a population level that will provide optimum resource benefits for society consistent with habitat availability and International treaties. The specific population objective is to maintain at least 80,000 EP tundra swans based on a 3-year average population index from the MWS in the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyways. This population objective will provide the level to satisfy public demand for enjoyment and use of this resource and the desire to maintain distributions of EP swans throughout their range as well as continue to support both subsistence and sport harvest.

I would also like to draw your attention to the section regarding a recreational harvest:

The harvest strategy contained herein has been modified from previous harvest strategies. Clear, unambiguous population thresholds have been developed for the allocation of permits, and a revised system for permit transfers within and among hunt zones and Flyways has been incorporated. The targeted maximum harvest rate for EP tundra swans is 10%, with recreational harvest at or below 5%.

The rationale for a recreational harvest is clearly explained on page 10 of the Management Plan under Strategy C-2 of the Public Use Guidelines whereby it states "The tundra swan is a migratory game bird species, as are all members of the family Anatidae, and hunting of the species is provided for by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918". It further states "hunting is an important public use of EP tundra swans" in the United States and I believe that it should also be an important public use in Canada.

One should note that there is already an annual subsistence harvest of the Eastern Population of Tundra Swans by the aboriginal people in Alaska and Canada accounting for approximately 5% of the population.

Canada has been allocated 41% of the total recreational harvest (see page 27 of the Management Plan) under the permit distribution agreement with the United States.

However ... since there is currently no recreational harvest of the Eastern Population of Tundra Swans in Canada all of the 9600 permits (based upon a 50% permit success rate) currently available are distributed solely within the United States. In other words ... they are benefiting both economically and recreationally from our inaction and disuse of a renewable natural resource.

Incidentally ... the actual permit success rate is about 37% in the United States.

Considering that the current Eastern Population of Tundra Swans is approximately 100,000 (25% over the Management Plan of 80,000) I believe that the time is right to move forward with my proposal for a Tundra Swan Recreational Harvest in the Province of Ontario.

I recognize that there is a one (1) year lead time for new season requests and that the request to the Flyway Councils must be made in July prior to the initiation of the new season. I also recognize that this will probably be a long process but one that will be worth it at the end.

In closing ... I did have an opportunity to speak with Dr. J. Leafloor (Biologist, Canadian Wildlife Service) in Winnipeg after we talked and he advised me that Mr. J. Ingram (Head of Population Management, Canadian Wildlife Service) is currently acting for Mr. D. Caswell as a member of the Ad Hoc Eastern Population Tundra Swan Committee.

I would like to thank you again for your words of encouragement for me to present my proposal and for your due consideration and support of my proposal.

Sincerely,




J. Katchin, D.V.M.

c.c.

Dr. S. Petrie, Executive Director, Long Point Waterfowl
Dr. D. Ankney, Chairperson, Scientific Advisory Committee, Long Point Waterfowl
Dr. J. Leafloor, Biologist, Canadian Wildlife Service
Mr. J. Ingram, Acting Member, Ad Hoc Eastern Population Tundra Swan Committee
Dr. R. Bailey, Vice President Policy for Canada, Delta Waterfowl Foundation

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Eastern Population (EP) of tundra swans has been managed under a joint four flyway management plan first developed and implemented in 1982. A harvest strategy for the EP was subsequently adopted in 1988. The last revision and incorporation of these documents occurred in 1998. The 1998 plan established population objectives based upon the Atlantic Flyway Mid-Winter Survey (MWS) and identified a number of key research and data gaps needed for the continued management of this population.

Since 1998, a number of research projects have cast light upon some of the uncertainties identified in the 1998 plan. However, a number of new questions, particularly surrounding the use and accuracy of mid-winter counts as a population metric have also arisen. This updated plan incorporates this new information and sets a path forward for continued accumulation of knowledge for the continental management of EP tundra swans.

The primary management goal is to maintain EP tundra swans at a population level that will provide optimum resource benefits for society consistent with habitat availability and International treaties. The specific population objective is to maintain at least 80,000 EP tundra swans based on a 3-year average population index from the MWS in the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyways. This population objective will provide the level to satisfy public demand for enjoyment and use of this resource and the desire to maintain distributions of EP swans throughout their range as well as continue to support both subsistence and sport harvest.

Inclusion of Mississippi Flyway MWS data is a change from the previous plan where only Atlantic Flyway data were considered. The addition of Mississippi Flyway MWS data is thought to provide a more complete dataset on which to monitor population trends. Despite the addition of Mississippi Flyway MWS numbers, no change to the population objective is deemed necessary at this time.

Protection of breeding, staging, and wintering habitat is critical to the long-term maintenance of EP tundra swans. Recent research projects have identified key staging locations whose protection is vital towards continued EP tundra swan population stability. Threats to both breeding and wintering grounds continue to increase. Several strategies and tasks have been identified to address these needs. Similarly, development of a breeding population index, or better enumeration of wintering numbers is an important need. Further refinement of a population model that will better inform management is another identified need.

The harvest strategy contained herein has been modified from previous harvest strategies. Clear, unambiguous population thresholds have been developed for the allocation of permits, and a revised system for permit transfers within and among hunt zones and Flyways has been incorporated. The targeted maximum harvest rate for EP tundra swans is 10%, with recreational harvest at or below 5%.

This plan and the harvest strategy should be reviewed and revised as needed at no longer than 5-year intervals.

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20 Balsam Trail, RR 1
Port Rowan, Ontario
N0E 1M0

October 10, 2010

Mr. J. Hughes
Head of Population Management
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment Canada
335 River Road
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H3

Re: Proposal to Remove Mute Swans from the List of Protected Species

Dear Mr. J. Hughes:

I am writing to present a proposal to remove Mute Swans from the List of Protected Species in all regions of Canada.

Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) are native to Europe and they were deliberately introduced to North America by humans during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Since that time their population has risen to the point whereby their impact upon waterfowl species native to North America and the submerged aquatic vegetation that they depend upon have become serious concerns to waterfowl biologists. This is especially true in the lower Great Lakes region where their population was estimated to be about 10,000 in 2002.

At a population growth rate of approximately 10 to 15 percent per year their population can double about every eight (8) years.

Mute Swans are known to attack and displace waterfowl native to North America from breeding and staging habitats. I have talked to neighbours in Long Point (Southern Ontario) who have witnessed Mute Swans killing various species of ducks and even Canada Geese in the inner bay.

Mute Swans also destroy the vegetation that migrating waterfowl native to North America depend upon during their migration. They are known to consume approximately 4.0 kg of vegetation per bird per day but they destroy approximately another 5.0 kg per bird per day in the process of feeding.

Mute Swans were placed on the List of Protected Species in 1974 however this list is generally for species native to North America.

By protecting Mute Swans other waterfowl species native to North America have been inadvertently put at risk themselves.

I believe that the time has come to remove Mute Swans from the List of Protected Species.

The information regarding Mute Swans that I have provided within this letter was obtained from various research articles written by the staff of Long Point Waterfowl and published in several wildlife journals. I am willing to fax copies of these articles to you and to anyone else if you would like to review them.

You may contact me by e-mail at [email protected] at your convenience.

I would like to thank you for your due consideration and support of my proposal.

Sincerely,




J. Katchin, D.V.M.

c.c.

Dr. S. Petrie, Executive Director, Long Point Waterfowl
Dr. D. Ankney, Chairperson, Scientific Advisory Committee, Long Point Waterfowl
Dr. J. Leafloor, Biologist, Canadian Wildlife Service
Mr. J. Ingram, Acting Member, Ad Hoc Eastern Population Tundra Swan Committee
Dr. R. Bailey, Vice President Policy for Canada, Delta Waterfowl Foundation
 
#2
Cudos to you sir!

I will be looking forward to hearing from your list of esteemed professionals at the AGM in regards to the "pros & cons" of your proposals.

Chris Kozak
Sustaining Member
 

sonnyuphi

Well-Known Member
#2
Hi Jerome ,thanks for keeping us updated on your missions. Have you thought of posting information and seeing if other waterfowlers can get involved in these issues on the Hunt Ontario waterfowl forum. There is always a number of hunters posting and reading posts on that site and I am sure they would like to at least send letters of support etc., to the decision makers.
Maybe the more wide spread support on some of these issues the more likely they will act.
Stay in touch,but looking forward to a boat ride in the new "Duck Machine".

Sonny Kozak
 

Buddy Boy

Well-Known Member
#2
Hello Sonny,

I was not aware of the Hunt Ontario Waterfowl Forum ... where is it?

My Ocean 15 Duck Boat is completed with the Mud Buddy motor and is now waiting for the delivery trip from Ohio to Port Rowan.

I will let you know when it arrives.

Jerome
 
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