Science confirms O.F.A.H. call for cormorant culls on Lake Huron
Written by CCN Matthews   
Wednesday, 22 February 2006 11:51

The results of a five-year study of cormorants by Ministry of Natural Resources' scientists in the area of Manitoulin Island and Eastern Georgian Bay clearly supports what the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.), local clubs and anglers have been saying for years: too many cormorants have a profound negative impact on local fish stocks.

"The results of the government's study not only supports our contention that the decline of fish stocks in the Manitoulin area can be directly attributed to the increased number of cormorants nesting in the area, but it also provides the government with a justification for taking immediate action to reduce the number of these birds and the threat they pose to valuable fish stocks," said Dr. Terry Quinney, O.F.A.H. Provincial Manager of Fish and Wildlife Services. "Oiling of eggs has a temporary effect, but the science clearly shows that oiling alone won't solve the problem. Without resorting to other more direct means of controlling the spread of these birds, the government will be signing a death warrant for fish stocks in many areas of the province. This new scientific data gives the government a reason to implement a cormorant strategy similar to what they started in the Presqu'ile area two years ago."

Dr. Quinney also noted that, in addition to the culling of cormorants in the Manitoulin area, the Ministry of Natural Resources should continue the process of managed culls in Presqu'ile that stopped short of its target last year.

For years, the O.F.A.H. has maintained that cormorant overpopulation is responsible for the loss of valuable fish stocks in dozens of areas across the province and directly responsible for the loss of habitat for other nesting birds and damage to local ecosystems.

 
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