The VOICE of Anglers and Hunters since 1928

Presqu’ile Park Cull an Important First Step in Managing Cormorant Threat

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, (O.F.A.H.), congratulates the Minister of Natural Resources, (M.N.R.), on the Environmental Bill of Rights, (E.B.R.), posting to include a managed cull at Presqu’ile Provincial Park to help control the double-crested cormorant population, as announced by the Minister at the recent 76th O.F.A.H. Annual General Meeting and Wildlife Conference in Toronto.

“This is an important first step in genuinely controlling birds that threaten our fisheries, habitat and other bird species,” said Mike Reader, O.F.A.H. Executive Director. “The M.N.R. finally seems to understand that egg oiling is not the sole answer to controlling the threat posed by cormorants destruction of fish species and land resources. However, there are many other areas in the province, particularly Manitoulin Island, where the negative impact of these birds is threatening local fisheries and ecosystems. The M.N.R. needs to widen the cull area in order to properly address the menace posed by overpopulation of these birds.”

Dr. Lars Rudstam, Associate Professor at Cornell University in New York, was a guest speaker at the O.F.A.H Conference in Toronto, and presented evidence about cormorant predation and the impact this is having on the population dynamics of walleye and yellow perch. Dr. Rudstam indicated that these birds represent a major threat to fish stocks, and will continue to grow in numbers without the implementation of controls. His five-year study, (1995 – 2000), on Oneida Lake in New York, demonstrates that walleye and yellow perch are significantly impacted upon by cormorants.

The M.N.R. is in year three of a five-year research program that includes the oiling of cormorant eggs in Lake Huron while monitoring bird numbers and fish stocks. At Presqu’ile Provincial Park, the M.N.R. has conducted egg oiling and nest destruction programs to protect forested areas.

Comments on the E.B.R. posting must be submitted in writing before April 16, 2004 by referencing the E.B.R. Registry Number PB04E6007. Responses can also be directed to:

John Immerseel
Zone Manager
Ontario Parks, Southeast Zone Office
51 Heakes Lane
Kingston, Ontario
K7M 9B1

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Contact:
Dr. Terry Quinney
Provincial Manager, Fish and Wildlife Services
(705) 748-6324
Greg Farrant
Government Relations & Communications Manager
(705) 748-6324