„We don’t believe these estimates are indicative of true breeding populations of teal in Pennsylvania as many migrating teal are encountered during the survey period,“ Jacobs said. „Estimates of total hooded mergansers (5,700) and common mergansers (24,000) were above average. The trends for both breeding merganser species have increased since 1993.“Jacobs noted that Pennsylvania’s spring 2012 Canada goose population was estimated at 220,000 birds.“The resident goose population appears to have declined over the past nine years following highly significant population expansion from 1990 to 2004, but it remains well above the Resident Population management plan goal of 150,000 spring birds,“ Jacobs said. „We continue efforts to achieve the management plan goal through reduced densities in Southeastern and Southwestern Pennsylvania, while maintaining populations in other portions of the Commonwealth.

„Observations during June banding indicated 37 percent below average juvenile recruitment statewide. Hunters should expect a below average fall flight with fewer juveniles, but resident geese will remain plentiful overall. Populations of Arctic-nesting Canada geese and snow geese are generally similar to recent averages.“Jacobs noted that spring population estimates and fall flight forecasts are obtained at large geographic scales, and therefore are not reliable predictors of waterfowl numbers that can be expected during hunting seasons.“At the local or regional level, hunting pressure, habitat and weather variables most often dictate waterfowl movements, staging and wintering numbers through the hunting seasons.“

In the Atlantic Population Goose Zone, the regular snow goose season will be Oct. 27-Jan. 26, with a snow goose conservation season to run from Jan. 28-April 26.  In the Southern James Bay Population Goose Zone, the regular snow goose season will be Oct. 27-Jan. 18, with a snow goose conservation season to run from Jan. 19-April 26.  The Resident Population Goose Zone regular snow goose season will run Oct. 27-Feb. 28, and the snow goose conservation season will run March 1-April 26.