Who sets the bag limits for ducks? Are bag limits state controlled or federal? Who would I contact to affect change regarding bag limits for ducks?

Question:

Everyone was very frustrated last weekend during the youth duck/goose hunt. The drake mallards were so inmature that they looked like hens. They were impossible to tell from hens in the air. Only when we reduced them to posession could we tell (often with difficulty) if they were hens or really inmature drakes. This led to kids being frustrated because they couldn't shoot the ducks coming into decoy and concern from the adults that bag limits might be exceeded. If we are, through the youth hunt program, attempting to engage young people and get them excited about hunting, then frustrating them is counter productive. A simple solution would be to have the same 7-duck bag limit during the two-day youth waterfowl hunt, but make the change that it can be ANY 7 ducks. So, I am asking you who, specifically, I can contact to express my concern about this matter. Thanks.
Brian Reynolds

Answer:

Setting waterfowl seasons is a cooperative effort among state and federal agencies.  The United States and Canada are divided into four flyways: the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific.  Idaho is in the Pacific Flyway.  For each flyway, a framework is set for each hunting season and is the same for each state in the flyway.  The framework establishes the maximum length of the waterfowl hunting season between the Saturday nearest September 24 and the last Sunday in January, and establishes the framework for bag limits.

Once the framework is established, states are then able to modify their seasons accordingly.  A state can be more restrictive than the federal framework, but a state cannot choose a season that is more liberal.  For example, Idaho cannot choose to have a youth waterfowl bag limit of any seven birds as you proposed as it would be considered more liberal than the federal framework.  

The timing of the youth hunt could be modified.  If this is somthing you are interested in pursuing, please contact your local Fish and Game Commissioner.  You can locate your Commissioner's contact information at the following link: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/about/commission/?getPage=183.