The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has confirmed a proposal last spring to expand hunting and fishing access on 2.1 million acres, primarily National Wildlife Refuge lands and waters. This brings the number of refuges where hunting is allowed to 434.
This round of NWR access expansions includes key refuges from a priority list provided by Delta Waterfowl to the USFWS. Delta’s input was a grassroots effort in partnership with the organization’s regional events directors, volunteers and members across the United States. The confirmation makes these opportunities available to waterfowl hunters in the season immediately ahead.
“Opening up additional acres for waterfowl hunting is great news for Delta’s members and supporters,” said John Devney, senior vice president of policy. “We appreciate the good work by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, USFWS Principal Deputy Director Martha Williams and members of the USFWS Hunt/Fish Teams to continue to expand opportunities for hunting on public lands.”
A total of 11 national wildlife refuges will allow duck and goose hunting for the first time, including:
Franklin Island (Maine)
Pond Island (Maine/New Hampshire)
Harbor Island (Michigan)
Great Swamp (New Jersey)
Mackay Island (North Carolina/Virginia)
William L. Finley (Oregon)
Neches River (Texas)
Eastern Shore of Virginia
Fisherman Island (Virginia)
Notably, waterfowl hunting opportunities also will expand on eight refuges in Louisiana, as well as two each in Mississippi, Arkansas and Illinois.
A complete online list of the refuges is available at: https://www.fws.gov/home/feature/2021/2021-2022-Station-Specific-Hunting-and-Fishing-Proposed-Rule-Narratives.pdf
— Bill Miller