With the opening day of waterfowl season right around the corner, the job of repairing Hurricane Irma damages to the Altamaha Waterfowl Management Area (located on the Altamaha Wildlife Management Area) continues, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division. Waterfowl hunters planning to hunt this area should take note of repairs and conditions to help prevent unwanted surprises and frustrations.
Altamaha WMA is divided into three separate management units, Butler Island, Champney Island and Rhett’s Island. Following is detailed information about conditions found on each:
- Butler Island: The Butler Island impoundments have been stabilized and waterfowl habitats are in good condition. Technicians on the area have been extremely busy preparing the area for this season and the ducks are beginning to settle in.
- Champney Island: Repair work on the West Champney, Old Snipe and New Snipe units will begin in the immediate future. Hunters are strongly encouraged to scout these units ahead of their desired hunting dates and be aware that water level conditions may change from week to week, so continuous scouting will be important.
- Rhett’s Island: Repairs to the hunting areas of Rhett’s Island are ongoing. Due to the repair schedule, complete flooding of the impoundments may be delayed past the opening of Waterfowl season. Access into the impoundments is a challenge due to the crossover areas being destroyed during the storm. Dike restoration is ongoing, so replacement crossovers cannot be installed at the current time. While some waterfowl hunting opportunity does exist on Rhett’s Island, the issues with access will be extremely challenging to hunters not familiar with the area.
Hunters, remember that waterfowl hunting in the riverine and estuary areas outside of the impoundments on Altamaha WMA can be quite productive. Many opportunities exist in the area, but will require proper planning and scouting to make for a safe and successful outing.
To hunt waterfowl in Georgia you will need a Georgia hunting license, a Georgia migratory bird license, and a federal duck stamp (now available when you purchase your other recreational licenses). WRD has made your purchase decision even easier by the creation of the Waterfowl Hunter Package at www.GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com, which includes all you need (and includes a convenient plastic card).
For more information on Georgia Hunting Regulations for waterfowl, visit https://georgiawildlife.com/migratory-bird-info. Hunters may contact the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division Game Management Office in Brunswick at 912-262-3173 for water level updates.