Working to End Waterfowl Hunting along the Quinnipiac River

By: 
Arabelle Schoenberg

In the early mornings, some neighbors of the Quinnipiac Meadows Nature Preserve hear gunshots. Currently, hunting is legal along the Quinnipiac River as long as all shooting happens north of the boundary line extending from Grannis Island (on the southernmost tip of the preserve) to Lombard Street on the other side of the river. The hunting boundary was moved up to this point in 2009 in response to safety concerns for families living nearby. The legal hunting zone runs along the side of the Land Trust's beloved Quinnipiac Meadows preserve, which is busier than ever, and sees significantly more traffic since the hunting boundary was placed there in 2009. While hunting is not permitted on our property, hunters may shoot from the river as long as they are 250 feet from buildings and shoot away from residences -- waterfowl have been seen shot down and falling onto the preserve, and thus hunters must come ashore in the preserve to pick up the birds.

Current law states that waterfowl hunting is allowed in the area as long as hunters are 250 feet away from a residence and as long as they do not shoot towards riverfront homes. Q Meadows is open to the public from dawn until dusk, and is utilized frequently by scientists, birders, conservation advocates, and neighborhood residents. The Land Trust hosts educational workshops and trail maintenance workdays regularly throughout the spring and summer months. The Land Trust frequently brings young students to the preserve for outdoor education field trips and research projects. With residences located on both sides of the river and a preserve that is open to the public, there is no safe direction to shoot.

Now, three residents of Quinnipiac Avenue - Andrea Dobras, Ed Schwartz, and Claudia Elferdink - have formed the Friends of Quinnipiac Meadows Nature Preserve and are making great strides in the fight to move the hunting boundary away from the preserve and their own homes. They are circulating a public petition, calling and emailing state representatives, and presented the issue to the Quinnipiac East Community Management Team. The New Haven Land Trust has joined their fight, and we encourage visitors and volunteers to do so. Check out this recent article in the New Haven Independent to read more about the issue! Join their Facebook group to stay updated on their progress.

Blog Date: 
Wednesday, February 21, 2018