Saturday, May 21, 2022

No Love For Cormorants


Considering you are a fisherman, your love of cormorants surprises me. Perhaps you should do some research into the feeding habits of this bird and there is a good chance you will change your mind.

It is estimated there are about 230,000 cormorants around the Great Lakes, each eating an estimated 1.3 to 1.6 pounds of fish a day. That equals more than 77 million pounds of fish per year, according to a report from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. They are responsible for serious depletion of fish stocks in the lakes despite the efforts of wildlife officers to replenish them.

The worst aspect is that they prey primarily upon young immature fingerlings who never get a chance to grow up into a fish worthy of your hook. Not only this, but wherever they nest they decimate their environment with their stinky messy poop, killing all greenery.

Chantry Island was a victim of this until the flock was culled by oiling their eggs, thus preventing them from hatching. For me, the cormorant is a very unwelcome, invasive species and don’t think they will leave anything for you to catch if they can have their way.

David Blackburn, Meaford

Editor’s Note: I am very much aware of the feeding habits of Cormorants, hence my request in that column for them to “just leave some fish in the rivers for us humble anglers”. Nature is cruel and unforgiving however, and doesn’t follow our wants or wishes, though we humans do attempt to control nature at times. Imagine what other species must think of us, as I would suggest that a good argument could be made that no species has been more invasive than we humans.

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