WIMMERA hunters will be out in force when the 2013 duck shooting season starts tomorrow.
Department of Primary Industries Game Victoria director Simon Toop said a dry spring and summer could prevent a bumper duck shooting season.
"We do surveys in October each year and in eastern Australia we had the fourth highest number of game ducks since 1984," he said.
"Since that time we have had a very dry spring and summer and some wetlands have dried up so the birds have moved around the state or interstate.
"The advice we are giving to hunters is that where there is water there will be reasonable numbers of ducks."
Mr Toop said most hunters and protesters would steer clear of Lake Buloke near Donald this season because of a lack of water.
"There will be a little bit of water at Lake Buloke but not a lot so there will be few hunters there and the protesters have indicated that they are going to head to Kerang," he said.
"A lot of the deeper wetlands and water storages will still hold a lot of water."
Mr Toop said 120 members from the Department of Primary Industries, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Parks Victoria and Victoria Police would patrol the state's waterways at the weekend.
"We will be running operations throughout the Wimmera at major duck hunting places," he said.
"For hunters, they need to stick to the rules they need to make sure they hunt in the right locations at the normal hunting times throughout the day, they stick to the bag limits, that they remain safe and that they enjoy themselves.
"For protesters, there are rules to allow hunters to continue to hunt without being disrupted but that allow them to protest."
Horsham Acting Inspector Brendan Broadbent said police would test shooters for alcohol and check licences.
He said police and gaming officers would monitor for any potential altercations between shooters and protesters.
Duck shooting season continues until June 10.