Regional Reports-Midwest

Lake Thompson

Shotguns have little time to cool off between the fall goose season and South Dakota's early-spring snow goose season, which opened in February and runs through May. The early-spring "light goose conservation order" was set to ease the destruction of the Arctic habitat near Hudson Bay by dense populations of snow, blue and Ross' geese. "The harvest was approximately 1.2 million in the U.S. and Canada in all 1999 seasons. We need 1.4 million light geese harvested per year for several consecutive years to bring the population down to management objectives," says Spencer Vaa, South Dakota waterfowl biologist. Electronic calls and unplugged shotguns are legal. Nontoxic shot must be used-No. 2s are good over decoys, while BBs are better if pass-shooting. The daily limit is 20 geese and the possession amount is unlimited. According to Vaa, "Major areas for roosting birds are Lake Thompson, Lake Whitewood and Lake Preston in Kingsbury County, and Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Brown County."Contact: South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (605-773-3485).