These two links provide further useful information: The open season runs from September 15 to December 31, and the harvest limit is 15 birds per day. Cormorants are migratory birds, leaving eastern Ontario for the Atlantic Ocean in the fall, and returning in the spring. Ontarioâs cormorant hunt evokes praise, concern locally. Hunters are required to retrieve and dispose of any cormorants that they shoot. Simply and succinctly put, the hunting of the Double-crested Cormorant serves no useful purpose in the scheme of things. Using the cormorant as a scapegoat. Makes me sick. I would hope this decision would be overturned, but chances are it will not. The double-crested cormorant is a prehistoric looking, matte-black bird with yellow-orange facial skin and a blue eye ring. Common loons may well fall victim to the hunt as they are difficult for many people to distinguish from cormorants on the water. Double-crested cormorants don’t have a lot of fans. Charitable registration # 10737 8952 RR0001. Even though invasive fish may be common in cormorant diets, the consumption of native fish can still create population-level consequences. Staff realized the need to manage the birds in 2007 after they began to cause serious damage to the park’s tree canopy, Chreston said. A mass hunt of double-crested cormorant birds has been approved by the Ontario government, and now experts are trying to stop it. Read [â¦] Cormorants have rebounded from historic lows in the 1970s, after suffering steep declines because of exposure to environmental contaminants. “It’s not good natural resource management,” Fraser said. Much more than the city of Toronto or its surrounding municipalities. Photo by Elliotte Rusty Harold Update: The Ontario government has announced the 2020 fall hunting season for double-crested cormorants. Some also say the cormorants have been unfairly maligned, and that there are better ways to control the population. Cormorants have long been maligned and persecuted in North America. Kowalski said “a number” of staff concerns were resolved in the government’s final proposal. Also, just as a note, all the hunters I know have a very healthy appreciation for wildlife, nature and the environment. These birds are beautiful unlike the ‘hunters’ who wish to slaughter them. “We end up time and time again doing things we shouldn’t have. I’m a hunter and proud of it, but I will not be hunting these birds. If 1 per cent of Ontario hunters kill a total of 50 cormorants over the entire hunting season, the double-crested cormorant will be eradicated from the Great Lakes before Starbucks releases its pumpkin-spiced lattes. One, a 2006 government report on cormorants in Ontario, notes that although anglers are concerned about the impact on fish, “Various studies have shown that cormorants can have an impact on fish abundance and production… however, there has been no evidence to suggest that cormorants have been responsible for the demise of any species in the Great Lakes-wide fish community.” The report also notes that climate change, overfishing and toxic contaminants are more significant threats for fish stocks. Andrew Philips/MidlandToday ... they are a native species and actually feed on an invasive fish species: round gobies. “We've heard concerns from property owners, hunters and anglers, and commercial fishers about the kind of damage cormorants have caused in their communities, so we're taking steps to help them deal with any local issues,” said Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry John Yakabuski in a July 31 statement. How many wetlands has Ducks Unlimited protected? Their populations exploded in the ’90s, and they began populating the Great Lakes once more. 2. And when Melina says “Ontario Nature does not oppose hunting that is sustainable and conducted in an ethical fashion”, I almost spit out my coffee. I will be taking my shotgun when I am out fishing and shooting as many as I can. I will not be hunting these birds and I know of many others who won’t be as well. Share. I am getting pretty sick of the blame being laid at hunters feet for such decisions just as I am with the useless gun bans being pushed thru in order to make it look like the Government is doing something about the completely unrelated, illegal firearms (mostly pistols) being used in shootings in cities. Kowalski also pointed to three papers discussing the issue. This is one writer’s take on this issue. Every one of these distructive birds should b shot. Hi Mireille, we agree there have been site-specific impacts (such as in Lake Erie islands). The double-crested cormorant is a native bird to Ontario. ... Eighty per cent of their diet is invasive species like alewives and round gobies, he said. Governments have culled cormorants in the past at Ontario's Presqu'ile Provincial Park, and at Point Pelee. Professor Jim Quinn from McMaster University confirms that studies he has been involved with reveal that cormorants are feeding mostly on problem fish such as round goby and alewife. In the 1960s, double-crested cormorants started vanishing rapidly from the Great Lakes. It is sick. By 1931, cormorants were breeding in Lake Huron and by â¦ Hunters everywhere should be extremely upset that this so-called HUNT is taking place. Growing up Cormorants were not in this area. ON Melina. Multiple studies have shown cormorants primarily eat invasive species, rather than salmon or walleye. Some states south of the border listed cormorants as endangered. In order to fly away from us it had to reduce its weight, so it coughed up 4 small fish that it had just caught. This cull has not been initiated by hunters-not sure about anglers but it as I have been following this situation for years it seems it was local residents/lake user pushed. This is such a very bad idea…the same thing happened in Oregon and there the bird population totally collapsed. As it is written, the Ford governmentâs plan would allow hunters to kill as many as 50 cormorants per day. ... and across Ontario, who have witnessed firsthand â¦ Managing invasive species in Ontario. “The potential impacts to local fish populations, habitat, and other nesting waterbirds is well-documented in the primary scientific literature,” she said. Hunters and their various conservation organizations do a lot more for all wildlife than a bunch of lazy whiny suburban Folks that don’t want to get their hands dirty and volunteer time or money to actually improve situations. I was paddling in Island Lake this past week and we inadvertently came across a cormorant fishing in a bay. There is no requirement for hunters to report what they’ve killed. The birds will also likely scatter and fly away if hunters are shooting at their colony, she added. Southern Ontario OverviewWith urban sprawl currently stretching from Oshawa to Hamilton and Niagara, and with growth estimates projecting approximately 4 million additional Ontarians for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) by 2031, healthy watersheds, intact wildlife habitat, and prime near-urban agricultural land are all being threatened by on-going urban sprawl. Double-crested Cormorants are not new to Ontario; they are known to have been a resident of Lake of the Woods since 1798. your subscription today. (How likely is it instead that the carcasses will just be left to rot and wash up on nearby shorelines?). Cormorants do have an impact on their ecosystem — that much is clear. âItâs going to be a disaster for people with minimal impact on the cormorants,â said naturalist David Hawke, who is also a BarrieToday columnist. It is enough to get me out and get my hunting lic just to remove these predators from the area, This is not a hunt This is a slaughter. While it is true that the ammonia-rich droppings of cormorants kill trees and other vegetation, concerns about property damage are an invalid justification for the hunt. The latest form of that dislike is a new fall hunting season, announced by the Ontario government on July 31, which will allow hunters to bag 15 cormorants per day from Sept. 15 to Dec. 31. I don’t mind at all if some trees perish where they nest. Please follow us on social media (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – @ontarionature) where we’ll post more updates on the fall cormorant hunt as they become available. Ontarioâs controversial new fall hunt for the double-crested cormorant has pitted outdoorsâ and sportsmenâs groups against naturalist and birding organizations. The Government people didn’t really look at the scientific studies and went crashing ahead passing poor legislation. https://georgianbay.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Double-crested-Cormorant-Following-the-Round-Goby-Invasion.pdf At Tommy Thompson in Toronto, the conservation authority decided to use non-lethal methods to control cormorants. ON Melina. “It’s an indication that the fish populations in the area that they’re nesting in are abundant and healthy.”. I think this hunt will have a marginal effect on the population…but I could be wrong….Lock and Load! “I was not raised to go and kill things for nothing, and that just seems like what it is to me… I don’t know what purpose that serves, killing a bunch of birds.”, When asked what evidence the government was relying on when pointing to cormorant problems in the Kawarthas and on Lake Nipissing, Kowalski said the ministry heard “concerns from property owners, hunters and anglers, and commercial fishers.”. Nipissing First Nation Chief Scott McLeod, who has more than 25 years of fishery experience, told Canada’s National Observer in an interview that cormorants haven’t had an impact on the nation’s fishery. I have, and they eat anything and everything. “What they decided to do instead was to institute a — I hesitate to call it a hunt, it’s more of a cull.”, The Ontario government first proposed the hunt last year. These ‘culls’ never work and always have consequences. In such situations control measures, if deemed necessary, should be site-specific and science-based. The only thing I wish you could update if possible, is if you could add suggestions if this situation needs to be balanced with some kind of scientifically valid actions on our part. As long as that is the case, then we don’t oppose it. Your email address will not be published. Bottom fish is a 12 inch gizzard shad that was too big to swallow but ... including the smallmouth bass fishery on Lake Ontario. At least hunters have the fortitude to face the ugly work of procuring their meat right from the source. “There are a lot of pigeons around, are they going to open a season on those? Such targets exist for other game, such as deer. This hunt isn’t game hunting, this is sport hunting and its a shame society is still okay with killing nature’s beautiful, wild creatures for humanity’s pleasure and pride. Commonly found in fresh and salt water across North America, this relative of pelicans is an expert at diving to catch small fish. I don’t know what they’re thinking.”. Very simpley they r of no use. Cormorants also eat a lot of fish, and anglers have long viewed them as competition. Fall Harvest for Double-Crested Cormorants Introduced to Protect Local Ecosystems. Also, here are some scientific studies that we thought were informative and helped shape our opinion: window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || ; I cringe at the amount of woodland and farmland being lost to urban sprawl. 5. Hi Sean, we would like to highlight that Ontario Nature does not oppose hunting that is sustainable and conducted in an ethical fashion, which unfortunately is not the case for the fall cormorant hunt. “The chance of someone actually shooting 15 cormorants per day for the entirety of the season is almost nonexistent,” Tonelli said. Your article is very misleading. 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