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Bergman highlights need for cormorant management

Submitted by Phil Heimerl on June 12, 2018 – 12:44 amNo Comment

First District Congressman Jack Bergman and some fellow members of the US House Committee on Natural Resources were in Alpena Monday, to gather information on what Bergman refers to as a growing problem with double-crested cormorants consuming fish across the Great Lakes.

Specifically, Bergman believes that a depredation plan is necessary to ensure fisheries remain healthy and vibrant.

Cormorants have a voracious appettite, and depending on the numbers, can consume thousands of pounds of fish each day.

“Based on a 2016 court order, Michigan, along with 23 other states are prohibited from controlling these invasive birds, leading to a troubling situation for our Great Lakes fisheries and many inland lakes throughout the state,” Bergman said Monday.  “Today’s hearing shed even more light on the need for proper management, and the importance of passing H.R. 4429, the Cormorant Control Act.”

Lethal control efforts in the mid-to-late-2000’s around the Alpena area and other parts of northeast Michigan proved effective in cutting back the number of cormorants.  In 2006 there were an estimated 6,728 adult cormorants on the islands in Thunder Bay.  A survey in 2011 revealed the population had been lowered to 1,490.

According to Michigan DNR, Michigan’s fishing industry provides nearly 38,000 direct jobs, and adds $2.5 billion annually into the state’s economy.

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