SPRING HILL — Duck hunters looking to take a bird or two around Hunters Lake need to be aware some of the people living around the lake have some safety concerns Hernando County is taking seriously.

Concerns over shooting during hunting season for ducks, quail, doves and other birds and animals has resulted in tighter control of hunting areas around the popular lake, which sits in the middle of a residential area east of Commercial Way, near County Line Road.

Hunters this fall season will see new signs at various locations around the lake indicating the restricted hunting areas. The Hernando County Commission has approved the new restrictions and signs after an “increase in reported hunting shooting incidents” reported by residents. The county Aquatic Services and Waterways Department is charged with marking and controlling the restricted areas.

The hunting restrictions were submitted to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission earlier this year and were officially established by the FWC for waterways and canals connected to the lake.

Under the regulations, the taking of wildlife by gun is prohibited in the new restricted areas unless hunters are authorized by permit. Hernando County Sheriff’s Office and FWC game officers will police the restricted areas. Violators can be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500 or 60 days in jail, or both.

The restricted areas only affect the canals around the lake, not the main lake body itself.

For more information, contact the FWC at 850-488-4676.