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Hunting improves

OUTDOOR REPORT:

December 14, 2001|By AL KALIN, Staff Columnist

Local duck hunting improved last week. It's still not as good as last year but much better than the previous weeks. Best average for the Imperial Valley was at the Finney-Ramer Unit, where six hunters bagged 17 ducks, mostly green-wing teal, for a 2.87 bird average. Wister averages also were much improved.

Goose hunting on the federal and state refuges was only fair but the majority of hunters shooting private property near the Westmorland refuge at the north end of Vendell Road reported full limits of three white geese.

Westmorland refuge, a satellite of the Sonny Bono Salton Sea Refuge, is holding more than 9,000 snow and Ross geese. Last week local hunting clubs have lured all 9,000 geese off the refuge and allowed them to eat more than 140 acres of first-year alfalfa. Alfalfa seems to be food of choice for snow and Ross geese.

Wister and Sonny Bono refuge headquarters are each keeping 2,000 snow and Ross geese. Refuge managers think most of the snow and Ross geese have arrived and few more will show up before they head back north in February and March.

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Most of the reduction in numbers is attributed to rice farmers no longer being able to burn their rice fields. The result is that more than 90,000 snow and Ross geese don't need to fly further south in search of feed and are staying in the north end of the state feeding in the unburned rice stubble fields.

Fishermen are starting to take corvina in the Salton Sea. Best success has been with Thin-Fins, Mogambos and Swim Baits trolled from Johnson's Landing south to the Riviera Keys on the west side of the Salton Sea. Some fish have been reported caught casting plastic lures. The corvinas are reported to be in the 6- to 7-pound range.

>> If you would like to report your hunting or fishing success, Al Kalin can be reached on the Internet at akalin@quix.net.

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