Submitted by Rich Sandig
1. Cormorants were put on the threatened species list back in the
1960's when DDT had a serious impact on the cormorant’s ability
to reproduce. Now that DDT is no longer a threat and the 450,000
cormorants is nowhere near threatened, why won't you take them off
the threatened species list? This would allow the general public
to treat the cormorant as they would a crow - residents have the
right to remove nuisance birds in the local area.
2. Cormorant culling was started and stopped by your government.
Why? Your own studies have shown that oiling the eggs and removing
the nests are ineffective at controlling cormorant populations.
They have a devastating effect on shoreline vegetation and a similar
effect on local fish populations. Why won't you act to control the
worst areas of Georgian Bay and the Bay of Quinte area?
Cormorants kill 100 percent in-shore fish production, say MNR scientists
Everything the O.F.A.H. warned about cormorant overpopulation is
documented in a staggering scientific investigation. "For over
10 years, the O.F.A.H. has been insisting that the government take
appropriate action. Now, following an extensive five-year M.N.R.
study of cormorants in the area of Manitoulin Island and eastern
Georgian Bay, the Ontario Government has absolutely no excuse for
letting another year go by without using every available option,
including culling to immediately reduce the number of these birds,"
said Dr. Terry Quinney, Provincial Manager of Fish and Wildlife
Services. In short, the results of a long-term MNR research program
clearly demonstrate that an overpopulation of cormorants is eating
themselves out of house and home. Even MNR Minister David Ramsay
admits that cormorant overpopulation "is devastating."
According to the government's own scientists, cormorants consume
100 percent of the Georgian Bay and North Channel in-shore fish
production. In-shore waters are considered to be the most productive
zones for recreational fishing on the Great Lakes, and the area
where the majority of fish return to spawn. The MNR study also shows
that just six nesting pairs of cormorants consume 1,000 kilograms
of fish over a single breeding season. In the MNR's sample area
where there were 16,000 nests, over 6 million pounds offish were
consumed by those birds alone. Throughout Ontario's Great Lakes
basin, over half a million cormorants return every summer, but thousands
more are now devastating highly sensitive inland lakes such as Lake
Couchiching, Lake Temagami, and Lake Opeongo in Algonquin Park.
"In addition to the management of cormorants on Lake Huron,
the MNR must continue its initiation of culls near Presqu'ile Provincial
Park, an ecosystem that is also being destroyed by these birds,"
said Dr. Quinney.
Source: ANGLER & HUNTER HOTLINE, May 2006
www.ofah.org The VOICE of Anglers and Hunters, page 15
I saw your picture, of the cormorant-infested island in Sault Ste.
Marie, in the current issue of Angler and Hunter and then visited
your website. We were fishing in Opeongo Lake in Algonquin Park
three weeks ago and I took the above picture of an island at the
far end of the lake. There is still one tree fairly alive, one almost
dead and the rest totally dead. At one time we would see a lot of
loons on this lake, but now almost all the birds are cormorants.
I’d hate to think what the rest of the islands in this beautiful
park will look like in ten years. I just had to send my pictures
to you and I will copy Minister Ramsay as requested in your article.
Hopefully someone will start to listen before it is too late. Thanks,
Cormorants Attack Our Crown Jewel: Algonquin Park
Why is the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources dragging its heels
on a major environmental crisis?
Despite five full years of scientific study that unequivocally confirms
that a cull of cormorants on Lake Huron's north shore is years overdue,
the Ontario government is once again procrastinating. Recently,
the MNR announced its intentions on the Environmental Bill of Rights
to conduct another two years of cormorant study on Lake Huron -
a study that, as far as the O.F.A.H. is concerned, is absolutely
unnecessary. "It is simply irresponsible for the Ontario government
to turn its back on our fisheries resources. Despite the clear scientific
need for cormorant control and fisheries management, the government
continues to procrastinate and neglect what must be done to protect
our natural resources," said Dr. Terry Quinney, Provincial
Manager of Fish and Wildlife Services for the O.F.A.H. — the
renowned 81,000 member conservation organization that has, for the
past 12 years, taken the lead in demanding effective cormorant management.
"The Ontario government already has ample scientific support,
and it has absolutely no excuse for letting another breeding season
go by without using every available tool to achieve a drastic immediate
reduction in cormorants along the shores of Manitoulin Island,"
he said adding that the O.F.A.H., along with many MPP’s, are
lobbying to have double-crested cormorants removed from Ontario's
protected species list. According to the government's own scientists,
cormorants consume nearly 100 percent of the eastern Georgian Bay
and North Channel inshore fish production. A severe overpopulation
of these birds on the Great Lakes are destroying shoreline trees,
flora and fauna, and decimating the forage base for top predators
such as trout and salmon. Now, cormorants are moving inland and
devastating highly sensitive lakes such as Lake Couchiching, Lake
Nipissing and Lake Opeongo in Algonquin Park. The cull of cormorants
at Presqu'ile Provincial Park in Brighton, recently carried out
by the MNR, is a wildlife population management tool that needs
to be applied in many locations across the province.
Rich Sandig futher replies, "Please write to
your local MPP, take a stand and if we all join in, perhaps we will
get their attention."