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sparcebag

Cormorants Problem?

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sparcebag

Does anyone think cormorants are a problem in our area,count them and report to DNR they may consider eradication for Long lake nesting site with enough complaints! Read on:Thank you for sending us your observations of cormorant numbers on Diamond Lake. We

appreciate hearing what other folks are observing and will keep your observations on file

and in mind as we consider the broader context of cormorant management in Minnesota. The

numbers of comorants observed, particularly during migration, is steadily increasing, as

you have observed. There is also one very large colony on Long Lake in Kandiyohi County

and you are no doubt seeing birds that are nesting there feeding on Diamond Lake.

The authority we have to control cormorant populations is prescribed by a federal rule

that requires that we only initiate control at those sites where there is strong evidence

of impacts to public resources, most notably, fisheries populations. We have authority in

Minnesota to take upwards of 7400 birds each year. Approximately 2000 are taken by

private aquaculturists and another 3,000 - 4,000 are being taken each year for the last

three years at Leech Lake. Concern about their growing numbers has been raised at a

number of sites throughout the state, most notably Lake of the Woods and up in the Rainy

River system and we continue to monitor the status of the cormorants and other public

resources at these and other sites where complaints have been registered s in order to

assess what actions, if any, might be taken.

Again, thank you for your input and observations.

Lee A. Pfannmuller

Ecological Services

Minnesota DNR

confused.gif

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Ralph Wiggum

Yeah! Usually, I see 2 or 3 on Games, but last weekend, there was flocks of 20+ birds!!!

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slotlimit

I think I posted this before but I can't remember. Back when Mike Obrien was the GW around here he told me to shoot as many as I wanted, where to shoot them, and how their flight patterns went out of some of the area lakes. It was in 71 Bait with Ron Shimmick standing thier also. I'm not sure if those rules still apply with the new GW in the area. I would ask him first before hand.

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Eye_Hammer

Last year in our bay on Norway, there was at least 75 in a

flock on the water. They were constantly diving to feed.

I say get rid of all of them.

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sparcebag

Only problem with that is they are federally protected birds in the 50s-60s they were open target practice.Now its a federal crime BUCO bucks fine!They are recovering too well from the DDT ban!

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slotlimit

Hey Sparce,

Just to throw a little fun at you. I believe this is what you said:

REALITY: On lakes that have good natural reproduction, just the opposite is true. To

increase the average size of walleyes caught by anglers, usually it’s the medium-sized

ones that need to be released. Most walleye lakes are loaded with small 6- to 12-inchers,

so releasing those fish doesn’t help much. And so few really big walleyes are ever caught

that releasing one doesn’t make much of a difference.

Well they used to have pictures of dead Cormorants in 71Bait with their bellies cut open and guess what? They were filled with those "Cigar" walleyes and I believe walleyes up to 14inches. (I'm sure they don't just eat Walleyes) But if taking those fish improves the lake wouldn't you want about 500 Cormorants swimming out in front of you on Diamond?

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sparcebag

Slot I thought people would think I wrote that about eyes but not till after I read it! Its actually a quote from the DNR site I copied grin.gif,went out yesterday afternoon got 2 for supper! the ole girl said dont come back unless ya got supper!got out at 2 home at 4 one 18" one 14" perfect for us. cool.gifBut I coulda et more.

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Sartell Angler

Quote:

I think I posted this before but I can't remember. Back when Mike Obrien was the GW around here he told me to shoot as many as I wanted, where to shoot them, and how their flight patterns went out of some of the area lakes. It was in 71 Bait with Ron Shimmick standing thier also. I'm not sure if those rules still apply with the new GW in the area. I would ask him first before hand.


My guess is that the individual you mentioned wouldn't like the idea of you posting that he gave you permission to break a Federal game law on a statewide forum such as this...

I would delete your post slot

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LODFFB

eye hammer are you talking about the bay going into Little Norway? They get bad in there My parents have a cabin over there you can walk across the ugly birds.

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slotlimit

Well their were about 2 or 3 other guys in the shop at the same time. I also wonder how many people Ron told to go ahead and shoot away. I also was no friend of OBrien in fact that was the first time I had ever even talked to the guy. So my guess would be that he really doesn't care. I never did shoot any.

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sparcebag

The new cos or GW are OK guys so is the new forester,But it seems they dont let anything go,got my neighbor for burning,sittin in boat by dock no PFD,I have talked to Tim but now another new CO hav'nt seen him yet.The forester last year had monthly burn permits now there back to yearly.The morel here KEEP CLEAN DONT VIOLATE!

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BLACKJACK

I did a dogpile search on 'leech lake cormorants' and found a 2006 report on the cormorants done by the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. A couple of exerpts - note the part about the percentage of walleyes in the diet:

Historical Cormorant Information

Recent increases in the number of cormorants has led some people to call them exotic or over

abundant. A historical review of information for this area, as well as throughout the region,

indicates that this is not the case. Cormorants are simply recolonizing areas that they have been

absent from due to human persecution and low population levels due to contaminants like DDT.

Historically cormorants were probably more abundant in Minnesota than they are today. In our

review, we looked for information on both cormorants as well as white pelicans as both species

frequently nest together and often raise the same controversies.

Small yellow perch make up about 75% of the diet in all

years sampled. This is higher than many other cormorant diet studies, but not unexpected

because small perch are a very abundant prey species in Leech Lake. Cormorants have been

noted in many studies to feed primarily on fish species that are very abundant and easy to catch.

Shiners have been found to make up second most common food item in the diet samples. The

third most common species found was trout perch, a species that is fairly abundant in Leech

Lake, but is probably unfamiliar to most people. This species has also been found to be a

common diet item in other cormorant diet studies. All other species made up about 5% of the

diet. Walleyes make up less than one percent of the diet and they are almost all young-of-the-year.

This is a much smaller figure than anyone expected and would seem to indicate that direct

cormorant predation on walleyes is not a big factor.

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sparcebag

Black--I suppose they ought to stop killin them then? right?

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Eye_Hammer

LOD, I have a cabin on the main lake, down past the landing, to the SW. I have seen them on Little as well. Last year they were just swarming in the water. The Cormies are part of the reason all the small perch from 2 winters ago are gone. The small perch were abundant 2 years ago. Probably why the eyes didn't bite well last year. Haven't seen a lot for perch this year. I am not advocating the irradication of the cormorant, but!

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sniper9

I shot one last year and recieved a verbal warning and I was told if I was seen shooting another one he would have to give me a ticket, He told me to find a more secluded spot he could see me from the road!!!???

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slotlimit

Their you go. I guess the new one might not care too much either. He was trained in by OBrien.

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BLACKJACK

Kill as many as you want, legally or illegally. I wack raccoons at will because I think it helps the local nesting birds and I kill gophers when they start digging up my corn food plot or digging under my buildings. Just be aware that killing federally protected birds is a federal offence and all it takes is the wrong warden or judge and you could be a bunch of trouble.

I just think that its kind of amusing when people blame cormorants for poor fishing when scientific studies prove that walleyes are a very small portion of their diet, in this case 1%. Let me repeat that - 1%. They go out fishing, don't catch anything, happen to see a bunch of cormorants and whos fault is the poor fishing? The cormorants, of course.

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trollenslow

Blkjack---The study was done in 2006. This was after the cormorants had all but depleted the walleye pop. When there are no walleye's to eat what would expect to find in there stomachs. This is not rocket science. This was just a political offering done to appease some people.

I will say several years in a row of poor hatches along with the rusty crayfish (study still being done) have contibuted to the problem but far and away the cormorant was the main culprit.

I have a place up on leech and have seen the flocks that were on the lake before any contol was put on the cormorant. It was sickening to see these gangly birds in such great numbers.

Think want you want but the cormorant or any other animal for that matter when out of check will effect the balance of nature.

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trollenslow

FWIW.-- The cormorants nearly exploded in pop. in just a few years. These were the numbers that were on Leech before any cormorant radication. There were 2800 nesting pair on little pelican island with a total of 10,000 birds. The facts are these birds eat 1 lb. of fish per day.

10,000 birds each eat 1# a day= 10,000#s a day times 30 days in a month=300,000#s a month times 5 months=1,500,000#s of fish eaten by these 10,000 birds given that they eat 1# of fish a day every day for those five months.

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J'sBait&Sport

WOW.........

J.

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sparcebag

Trollin thats why I started this thread! I hope people conplain to the DNR! I watched this spring and saw so many, I counted them each morning,my lowest count was 175 birds the highest was, ooo.gif well I stoped at 600! Thats when I contacted the DNR.

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trollenslow

I would complain VERY loud and OFTEN because it took just short of a public lynching of the DNR to sit up and take notice and do something about the exploding cormorant pop. on Leech Lake. With the bird being federally protected it took alot of political manuevering to get a plan in place and implemented.

The poor walleye fishing on Leech Lake in those years had such an economic impact on the Walker area. The DNR had a lot of pressure put on them before they reacted. They were backpeddling and double talking trying to defend themselves, saying that studies indicate that the cormorant was not the problem. I remember being told that very thing, cormorants only eat perch. I was born at night, but it was not last night!

The cormorants destoyed the trees on Little Pelican Island, standing there leafless, quite a site.

I would'nt try to take matters into your own hands wink.gif because of the federal protection placed on the cormorant, but alot of locals were contemplating that very thing.

Vegetable oil sprayed on the eggs,(killing the embryo)to discourage nesting, along with Fed. sharpshooters have reduced the numbers on Little Pelican Island.

I would say Leech is still a year or two away from being a walleye destination despite the Governors success this opener.

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