The black duck is in decline, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is asking hunters to do something about it--stop shooting the species.
The black duck population is believed to be less than half what it was in 1955, and if the decline continues, the species may be removed from the list of game birds that can be hunted.
"While federal and state wildlife agencies shoulder most of the burden for protecting black ducks, individual hunters must also share in this responsibility," said Don Pfitzer, a spokesman for the service.
"Hunters have a strong history of practical conservation, and as far as the black duck is concerned, now is the time to show it. Those allowed to fly on might mean increased production of young ducks the following nesting season."
According to the service, the black duck has attained trophy status among many hunters because of its wariness and growing scarcity.
Thornton N. Snider of Turlock has been awarded this year's Weatherby Big Game Trophy for his years of successful big-game hunting and work in conservation.
Snider is active in numerous hunting and conservation groups, and has been on 221 hunts on six continents. He has shot 145 species of game.
Other nominees were Dr. James Conklin of McKeesport, Pa.; Hector Cuellar or Guanajuato, Mexico; Dante Marrocco of Palos Verdes Estates; Robert Chisholm of Wichita, Kan., and Robert Kubick of Anchorage, Alaska.
San Diego's sixth annual Day at the Docks has been scheduled for Dec. 15 on the sportfishing landings at Harbor Drive and Scott Street in Point Loma.
Festivities will include free boat rides, open house aboard sportfishing vessels, demonstrations on fish preparation, scuba diving and casting, fishing seminars, displays, collections of antique tackle, films and an aquarium of Southern California game fish.
There is no admission charge.
Due to recent rains, fire permits are no longer required for the use of campfires, portable stoves or barbecue grills outside of designated campgrounds in the Angeles National Forest. All fires, however, must be in safe, cleared areas. . . . The Arizona Game and Fish Department will begin accepting applications Monday for the 1986 javelina, spring turkey and spring bear hunts. Resident fees are $10.50 for bear, $11.50 for turkey, and $12.50 for javelina. Nonresident fees are $53.50 for each. . . . Four legislative committees will meet in Sacramento Dec. 17 to consider methods of providing future funds for the Department of Fish and Game. . . . Showtime: Big A Gun and Collectors' Show, today, Anaheim Stadium; Anaheim Sports, Vacation and RV Show, Jan. 4-12, Anaheim Convention Center; San Francisco Sports and Boat Show, Jan. 10-19, Cow Palace.