Cormorant Control Approved for Lake Vermilion

Potato Island, Lake Vermilion, photo courtesy of Timberjay.

According to the Ely Timberjay newspaper the DNR recently announced their decision to kill up to 10% of the Double Crested Cormorants on Lake Vermilion, in Minnesota, this summer. In addition, cormorant eggs will be spread with vegetable oil to prevent them from hatching and at the same time not stimulate the birds to renest. Cormorant populations are skyrocketing in the Midwest. The Timberjay cites one example on Lake Vermilion’s Potato Island where there were 32 nests in 2004 and 424 nests in 2012. Anglers and Lake Vermilion lodge owners believe the increasing numbers of fish-eating cormorants will result in diminished game fish populations in the lake. The DNR has already recorded reduced numbers of perch in the lake which they believe could ultimately affect walleye populations. The Audubon Society of Minnesota believes Double-Crested Cormorants are often unfairly blamed for decreasing game fish populations and adamantly oppose cormorant control programs that have not been supported with data or sufficient study. They also believe that removing the protection of cormorants diminishes the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and sets a harmful precedent.

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