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Waterfowl Hunter Task Force and Public Input

2018-19 Waterfowl Season Task Forces

DEC has appointed 2018 task forces for the Western, Southeastern, Northeastern and Long Island Waterfowl Hunting Zones. The names and contact information for current task force members can be found below. Task Force members act as representatives of all duck hunters in each zone, and they will meet this spring to recommend a duck season for 2018-2019 that best satisfies the diverse interests.

There is no task force for the Lake Champlain Zone because seasons there are set by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Management Board, with consultation from DEC and input from hunters in New York and Vermont. Although there is no formal task force for this zone, interested hunters may send their input directly to DEC for consideration.

You can provide input in a variety of ways:

  • by directly contacting one of the task force members in your zone - the list of members can be found on the DEC website
  • by filling out the Waterfowl Input Form (link leaves DEC's website)
  • by sending an email to the Waterfowl Season Input Mailbox - suggestions sent to this inbox will be forwarded to all task force members in the zone

Specific suggestions for opening and closing dates, including "split seasons" that divide the season into two periods (if desired), would be most useful. The recommended dates should be within the federal guidelines expected for the coming year (PDF, 137 KB), which is a 60-day duck season in each zone, split into no more than two segments per zone and opening no earlier than the Saturday nearest September 24 and closing no later than the last Sunday in January.

Input on hunting seasons for other migratory game birds including Canada geese, snow geese, brant, woodcock, snipe, rails, and crows can also be provided by e-mailing the waterfowl season input mailbox.

2018-19 Western Zone Task Force
Name Address Telephone & E-mail
Jim Adriance
(Southeastern Area)
1930 Cole Place
Vestal, NY 13850
607-768-1528 (c)
Jim Eckler
1385 Morgan Road
Savannah, NY 13146
Dave Erickson
(NYSCC - R7)
18 Second Avenue
Auburn, NY 13021
315-224-4494 (c)
Ron Falkowski
(Central NY Wildfowlers)
767 Nichols Point Road
Bridgeport, NY 13030
Jay Forster
(Lake Plains Waterfowl Assoc)
98 True Hickory Run
Rochester, NY 14615
585-865-8986 (h)
585-314-0566 (c)
Randy Holden
(South Central Area)
219 Breesport Road
Horseheads, NY 14845
607-739-6735 (h)
607-742-9886 (c)
Paul Niedzielski
(Canandaigua Lake Duck Hunters)
3896 Chatham Lane
Canandaigua, NY 14424
585-729-6600 (c)
Bill Howell
(Niagara Frontier Area)
5859 Stinson Road
Arcade, NY 14009
Darin J. Katta
(Southwestern New York)
10 Westerly Drive
Fredonia, NY 14063
Mark Kircher
(NYSCC - R8)
1023 Buffalo Road
Rochester, NY 14624
Bill Kalwas
(Finger Lakes & Western NY Waterfowl Assoc)
1264 School Road
Victor, NY 14564
Ken Zolnowski
(NYSCC - R9)
30 Danbury Drive
Cheektowaga, NY 14225
2018-19 Southeastern Zone Task Force
Name Address Telephone & E-mail
Bill Alexander
(NYSCC - R3)
170 Clinton Corners Road
Salt Point, NY 12578
Tim Barnard
(NYSCC - R4)
21 Balsam Way
Albany, NY 12205
Josh Stiller
625 Broadway, 5th Floor
Albany, NY 12333-4754
Vince Olechnowicz
(Catskill Area)
258 Braymer Lane
Delhi, NY 13753
Red Oster
(Central NY Wildfowlers)
240 Seville Blvd.
Sayville, NY 11782
Nathan Pieruzzi
(Hudson River Waterfowlers)
58 Salvino Drive
Athens, NY 12015
Mike Podgorski
(NYSCC - R7)
2287 Ferndell Road
Cazenovia, NY 13035
Chuck Law
(Saratoga Lake - Upper Hudson)
1027 Hudson Avenue
Stillwater, NY 12170
Gary Will
(Chenango Valley area)
1019 River Road
Hamilton, NY 13346
Ron Zega
(Mohawk River Valley)
344 Windy Hill Road
Schenectady, NY 12306
Dan Spigner
(Waterfowl Improvement Assoc.)
9 Academy Street
Greenwich, NY 12834
2018-19 Northeastern Zone Task Force
Name Address Telephone & E-mail
Kevin Bodmer
(Central Adirondacks)
236 Keese Mills Road
Paul Smiths, NY 12970
Doug Carr
(Central NY Wildfowlers)
109 Roosevelt Avenue
Canastota, NY 13032
George Gedney
(Waterfowl Improvement Assn)
15 Stonehurst Drive
Queensbury, NY 12804
Tom Humberstone
(North Central Area)
2766 County Route 6
Hammond, NY 13646
Steve Heerkens
207 Genesee Street
Utica, NY 13501
Nick McNamara
(Northern WMAs)
1125 County Route 14
Rensselaer Falls, NY 13680
Kurt Snyder
(Oneida Lake Assoc)
6429 Long Point Road
Brewerton, NY 13029
James Tracy
(Upper Mohawk Area)
5525 Marsh Road
Lee Center, NY 13363
2018-19 Long Island Zone Task Force
Name Address Telephone & E-mail
John Adams
(South Shore Waterfowlers Assoc)
30 Diane Drive
Manorville, NY 11949
Robert Christensen
(Oyster Ponds Rod & Gun Club)
PO Box 14
Orient, NY 11957
Kelly Hamilton
50 Circle Road - SUNY
Stony Brook, NY 11790
William Spadafora
(Peconic River Sportsmans Club)
26 Croyden Avenue
Ronkonkoma, NY 11779
Ron Kee
(Smith Point Fish & Hunt Club)
11 Skyhaven Drive
Patchogue, NY 11772
Steve Laurino
(Manhasset Bay Sports Club)
9 Corchaug Avenue
Port Washington, NY 11050
Warren Ferdinansen
(Suffolk Co Alliance of Sportsmen)
10 Rockhall Lane
Rocky Point, NY 11778
Ron Sineo
(NYSCC - R1)
10 Rutherford Street
St James, NY 11780
Curt Matzinger
(Nassau Co Fish & Game Assoc)
32 Magro Drive
North Babylon, NY 11703
James Jankowski
(Pattersquash Gunners Assoc)
19 Woodland Park Road
Bellport, NY 11713
Frank Lopez
(Member at Large)
59 Radio Avenue
Miller Place, NY 11764
Sab Caponi
(Matinecock Rod & Gun Club)
2708 Elm Drive
North Bellmore, NY 11710

Red Oster
(Long Island Wildfowl Heritage Group)

240 Seville Blvd.
Sayville, NY 11782
Jack Passie
(Windy Guide Service)
8 South Fulton Street
Montauk, NY 11954

DEC Waterfowl Season Setting Team

Name DEC Region Address & Telephone
Kelly Hamilton
Region 1 50 Circle Road - SUNY
Stony Brook, NY 11790
Jonathan Russell
Region 3 21 South Putt Corners Road
New Paltz, NY 12561
Karl Parker
Region 4 1130 N. Westcott Road
Schenectady, NY 12306
John O'Connor
Region 5 1115 Route 86
Ray Brook, NY 12977
Steve Heerkens
Region 6 207 Genesee Street
Utica, NY 13501
Tom Bell
Region 7 1285 Fisher Avenue
Cortland, NY 13045
Jim Eckler
Region 8 1385 Morgan Road
Savannah, NY 13146
Connie Adams
Region 9 270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
Joshua Stiller
Central Office 625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-4754


  • Task Forces (TF) are held in four of New York's five waterfowl hunting zones - Western (beginning in 1997), Southeastern (1998), Northeastern (2003), and Long Island (2007).
  • A group of selected hunter representatives sit as a TF to discuss and make recommendations for opening and closing dates for the upcoming duck hunting season.
  • The TF members are selected to represent the interests of all waterfowl hunters in a particular zone. The TF members make themselves available for, and solicit, input from hunters who have interest in hunting in the zone.
  • Within the anticipated federal frameworks for opening and closing dates, total number of hunt days, and species restrictions, the TF provides the Bureau of Wildlife's (BOW) Season-setting Team (SST) with recommendations for duck hunting season dates.

Task Force Membership

  • The Bureau of Wildlife develops and maintains the TF membership lists. The ideal number of TF members is about 11. Having more than 11 members makes it difficult for the group to reach consensus on optimal season dates for each zone. Fewer members may mean there is not enough representation of waterfowl hunters throughout the zone.
  • To establish a membership list, the SST first looks to organized groups to provide a member to serve on a TF. Examples of types of these groups include:
    • organized, long-standing waterfowl hunting organizations;
    • NYS Conservation Council regional Waterfowl Committee representative;
    • county sportsmen's federations;
    • waterfowl interest groups, e.g., Waterfowl USA; and
    • sportsmen's organizations with waterfowl hunting interests within their membership.
  • If necessary, the SST may invite additional TF members if some geographic area of the zone is not represented. These additional members are termed "At-Large" members.
    • "At-Large" members may be chosen by several methods. Hunter interest groups may be asked to provide the SST with a person to serve on the TF (they may be asked for several names from which the SST may choose). The SST may select a member on their own, based on prior contacts with local hunters.

Duties of Task Force Members

  • The names, addresses, phone, and e-mail are made available to the public.
  • TF members are expected to actively solicit the opinions and desires of hunters in their zone.
  • They should be available to any and all hunters to receive their opinions.
  • TF members are required to attend the annual meeting in April, participate in discussions, listen and become aware of other hunter desires in the zone, and work to achieve common ground to reach consensus on duck season dates that will satisfy the most hunters in the zone.

Objectives and Expectations of the Annual Task Force Meeting

  • TF members are representatives for all hunters within the zone. They must be willing to sit with other members to discuss issues, negotiate and, ultimately, compromise in order to recommend season dates that all members can live with and that are satisfying to the majority of hunters in the zone.
  • All decisions are by consensus; there is no voting.
  • TFs will develop Recommendations for:
    • regular season duck hunting dates;
    • dates for youth waterfowl hunt dates;
    • regular Canada goose hunting dates; and
    • dates for restricted seasons (seasons within seasons) - recent examples include pintail and canvasback.
  • In all cases the final decisions for season dates and regulations are made by the BOW Chief and Commissioner.
  • The TFs may also be asked for opinions on waterfowl management issues (for example, preferences for alternative bag restrictions on a specific species) and used as a sounding board for hunter interests and concerns.

Responsibilities of Bureau of Wildlife Season-Setting Team

  • Develop the annual TF membership lists.
  • Provide public communications (news release, website) on the TF process, including names and contact information for all TF members.
  • Accept public input to be shared with all TF members.
  • Provide a facilitator to oversee the TF meeting.
  • Provide TF meeting locations.
  • Be available to answer all questions concerning the TF process and waterfowl management.
  • Provide a SST member to participate in the meeting to provide information and insight.
  • Provide harvest and management information to TF members.

Timing of Annual Meetings

  • Each TF meets one time, usually on a Saturday in March or April. TFs base their discussions on the anticipated upcoming federal frameworks. Recommendations from all TFs are reviewed by the SST and subject to approval by the Bureau Chief and Commissioner.
  • DEC submits final season dates to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for approval annually by late April.

2017 New York State Duck Hunter Survey and the Process for Setting Duck Seasons 2019 and Beyond

  • A representative sample of duck hunters in each waterfowl zone were surveyed by DEC and Cornell University in the fall of 2017 to identify how hunters defined a high quality hunting experience.
  • This survey is part of an effort by DEC to ensure that the perspectives of a representative cross section of waterfowl hunters are considered when season dates are selected.
  • DEC will work in conjunction with the waterfowl task force in each hunting zone to develop a suite of season date configurations (alternatives) that will be evaluated based on the results of this survey and species-specific migration data in each zone.
  • The survey data will be used to evaluate how different season date alternatives would affect overall hunting satisfaction in each hunting zone and to identify which season dates will maximize hunting satisfaction.
  • The new process for setting seasons will provide dates for a five-year period (2019-2023; assuming there are no changes to number of days allowed under federal regulations).
  • Check back in the fall of 2018 for results of the 2017 Duck hunter Survey and for additional information on the modified process for setting waterfowl seasons.
  • For comments on the 2018-2019 waterfowl seasons, please continue to contact your task force representatives.