ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Thousands of hunters will head out into Minnesota wetlands this weekend.
Minnesota's duck and goose season gets underway a half hour before sunrise Saturday, and at 9 a.m. in parts of Wisconsin north of U.S. Highway 10 and along the Mississippi River.
According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, this year's duck opener is a day earlier than last year and the earliest since 1945. DNR waterfowl specialist Steve Cordts says most wetland managers "are expecting a fair to good opener."
The daily limit for both Minnesota and Wisconsin is six ducks — plus there restrictions three Canada geese in Minnesota per day, and two in Wisconsin.
A spring survey shows the mallard population is up about 36 percent compared to the long term average.
The duck hunting season runs through Nov. 19 in the north zone. In the central zone, it runs through Saturday through Sept. 29 and resumes Oct. 5 through Nov. 24. In the south zone, the season runs Saturday through Sept. 29, and again Oct. 12 through Dec. 21.
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