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News stories tagged with "cormorants"

Biologists Jim Farquhar and Mike Smith inspect the cormorant nests in the treetops.  (Photo by Karen Kelly)
Biologists Jim Farquhar and Mike Smith inspect the cormorant nests in the treetops. (Photo by Karen Kelly)

Population control for cormorants on the St. Lawrence

The pesticide DDT almost wiped out the double-crested cormorant. Now, the bird is thriving, and it's blamed for devouring fish in lakes, rivers, and fish farms in many parts of the country.
Karen Kelly went to the St. Lawrence River near Waddington to report on the struggle to share resources with this unpopular bird.  Go to full article

Anglers' Repose on the St. Lawrence

Hundreds of anglers are converging on the St. Lawrence River between Ogdensburg and Massena for the 2005 World Carp Championship. Competitors will represent more than 20 countries from 5 continents. The tournament starts on Sunday. Tomorrow we'll have a story on the basics of carp fishing. But today we focus on the more traditional North Country catches. Walleye and northern pike season opened the first Saturday in May. David Sommerstein spent a morning with two veteran guides.  Go to full article

Cormorant Control Spreads West

Cormorants are large, fish-eating birds. They were nearly wiped out by the now-banned pesticide DDT. They began to colonize Little Galloo Island on the eastern end of Lake Onratio in the early 1970s. Their populations have flourished - too much so for commercial and recreational fishermen. New York's Department of Environmental Conservation has been studying cormorants' diets and habits since the 80s. They began shooting cormorants to control the growing population in the mid-90s. Now, eggs are oiled and nests destroyed every spring, and some birds are shot by DEC personnel. New York began working on cormorant control with other states along the Great Lakes in the mid-90s, as the birds continued to expand their reach. The Great lakes radio Consortium's Stephanie Hemphill explores one lake Superior community's experiment in cormorant control.  Go to full article

Cormorant Control Options Weighed

Five years ago, state researchers making a routine visit to Little Galloo Island on the eastern end of Lake Ontario found a virtual slaughter of cormorants. Hundreds of the birds, adult and chicks, had been shot and clubbed to death by fisherman irate about the number of sportfish the birds were eating. A story about the massacre in the Smithsonian magazine of this past February likened cormorants to "wolves in cattle country," and the fishermen quoted in the article were unrepentant.

Since the 1990s, the state department of Environmental Conservation has itself been destroying cormorants nests on Little Galloo and other eastern lake Ontario Islands. And eggs are oiled so they won't hatch. Those measures are allowed by a permit from The US Fish and Wildlife Service. The service has had authority over the birds since they were placed on the federal protection list in 1972. At that time, cormorant populations had been severely affected by the pesticide DDT, but in the 30 years since, the population has bounced back. Too far back for the fishermen.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has just finished a final Environmental Impact Statement on cormorant control and management across the country. It proposes six options. The public can comment on those alternatives for 30 days. After that, the federal government will publish its final rule on cormorants.

The state DEC has a favorite alternative, one that would give local authorities a more active role. Steve Litwhiler, a spokesman for the Watertown office of the DEC, said the preferred option would essentially allow his agency to continue its cormorant work, but under its own authority. (To submit comments or request a copy of the final EIS, e-mail:  Go to full article

"Problem" Cormorants To Be Killed?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a rule that would allow people to kill the Double-Crested Cormorant. The bird was once federally protected. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Chris McCarus reports.  Go to full article

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