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RUNNIN REBEL

press release from the USFWS regarding the Advance Notice of Public Rulemaking for Double Crested Cormorant management.

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Now is the time for your voice to be officially heard. 

 

 

 

 

Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service Solicits Public Input on Cormorant Management

1/21/2020

Last edited 1/21/2020

Date: January 21, 2020
Contacts: [email protected]
Vanessa Kauffman, 703-358-2138, [email protected]

WASHINGTON – As part of ongoing efforts to address conflicts between double-crested cormorants and wild and stocked fisheries, the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is announcing an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) and soliciting public input on future management options. 

 

“Balancing the protection of native wildlife with economic and human health needs is fundamental to effective management practices,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. “Today’s action starts the process of improving management and further reduces conflicts with double-crested cormorants throughout the United States.”

 

Future management actions built on a strong biological foundation ensure cormorant populations are managed responsibly and in compliance with federal laws and regulations, while balancing economic development, human health and safety, endangered species management and other priorities. 

 

“We are building long-term solutions for managing conflicts with double-crested cormorants under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act while maintaining healthy populations of this species,” said Aurelia Skipwith, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “This effort, in collaboration with our partners, will ensure continued good stewardship of our natural resources.”

 

In 2017, the Service completed an Environmental Assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) evaluating options for issuing individual depredation permits to provide relief for aquaculture facilities experiencing direct economic losses from cormorants across 37 central and eastern states and the District of Columbia.

 

The EA analyzed options for the issuance of depredation permits for cormorants where there is either significant economic damage to aquaculture facilities, significant damage to native vegetation, significant impact on a threatened or endangered species, or significant human safety risks. Upon completion of the EA on November 15, 2017, the Service began issuing permits to aquaculture facility managers and property owners across 37 central and eastern states and the District of Columbia. 

 

This review did not include potential damage to recreational and commercial fishing by cormorants. Since the publication of the EA, the Service engaged stakeholders to assess the biological, social and economic significance of wild fish-cormorant interactions, and to identify a suite of management alternatives. 

 

The Service is also currently working with tribes, state fish and wildlife agencies and other federal partners to assess comprehensive management options for cormorants across the United States.

 

“With nearly 30,000 water surface acres across Arkansas used for aquaculture production, our fish farmers contributed $71.1 million to our state’s economy in 2017. However, the United States Department of Agriculture estimates double-crested cormorants cause more than $25 million in damage annually within the aquaculture industry. These birds have become the foremost antagonists of fish farmers. We need commonsense solutions that allow aquaculture producers to safeguard their fish from these predators,” said U.S. Sen. John Boozman (AR). “I applaud the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for responding to the need of aquaculture producers by increasing the amount of maximum allowable take of double-crested cormorants, and I look forward to working with the Department of Interior and USFWS to ensure we can find commonsense solutions to ease the burden for hard working Arkansan aquaculture producers.” 

 

“Arkansans are experiencing the harmful impact of double-crested cormorants across the state. As one of the top aquaculture producers in the nation, Arkansas and its fish farmers are suffering millions of dollars in losses as these avian predators consume critical inventory,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (AR). “I am glad the Department of Interior is taking this problem seriously and hope that further progress will come swiftly.”

 

“Bird predation costs producers millions of dollars every year.  I applaud the Department of the Interior for taking this important step to help aquacultures producers address those losses,” said U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS).

 

“The double-crested cormorant has been detrimental to Mississippi’s catfish farmers,” said U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (MS). “I am pleased that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is taking this issue seriously and is considering options to allow aquaculture producers to manage the populations of these predatory birds that are destroying fish populations.” 

 

“I am pleased to see the Department is moving forward in the rulemaking process for the depredation of double-crested cormorants. This is a desperately needed next step for Michigan’s First District, where over-population is threatening the health of our free swimming and recreational fisheries,” said U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman (MI-01). “I am grateful the Administration has committed to this process to ensure a long-term and effective management plan for Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.”  

 

“I am pleased with the efforts and action by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to increase the allowable take of double-crested cormorants. This is a necessary step to mitigate more than $25 million in annual damages to the catfish and aquaculture industry,” said U.S. Rep. Michael Guest (MS-03). “I’m supportive of this proposed rule, which will have a positive impact on Mississippi’s catfish industry, and I will continue to work with FWS to promote Mississippi’s aquaculture needs.”

 

“Science has consistently proven that managing cormorants is necessary to protect not just aquaculture but fishing as well. I applaud the administration for listening to input, increasing the take and promoting sound scientific practices,” said U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (AR-04).

 

“Double-crested cormorants can pose a significant threat to American aquaculture. The American Farm Bureau Federation is pleased to learn that the Department of the Interior is moving forward to help provide farmers the necessary management tools to prevent double-crested cormorants from preying on farm livestock,” said President of the American Farm Bureau Federation Zippy Duvall.

 

“The strong return of double crested cormorants is a significant conservation success. But in the absence of natural predators, cormorants are inflicting substantial depredation on both private and public aquatic resources. This effort by the Fish and Wildlife Service is necessary and appropriate to maintain a healthy ecosystem," said Former Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Dale Hall.

 

Public scoping for the rulemaking process will begin with the publication of the ANPR in the Federal Register on January 22, 2020, and will continue for 45 days until March 9, 2020. To promulgate a proposed rule and prepare a draft environmental review pursuant to NEPA, the Service will take into consideration all comments and any additional information received on or before that date. You may submit written comments by one of the following methods. Please do not submit comments by both. We do not accept email or faxes.

  • Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. FWS-HQ-MB-2019-0103.
  • By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–HQ–MB–2019–0103; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: JAO/1N, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803.

The Service seeks comments or suggestions from the public, governmental agencies, tribes, the scientific community, industry or any other interested parties. Areas for consideration include but are not limited to: potential reporting and monitoring strategies of cormorants by states and participating tribes; impacts on floodplains, wetlands, wild and scenic rivers or ecologically sensitive areas; impacts to other species of wildlife, including endangered or threatened species; and impacts on prime agricultural lands. Please see the Federal Register notice for more details.

 

The Fish and Wildlife service will post all comments on regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The Service will hold public scoping meetings in the form of multiple webinars in February 2020. 

 

More information about the rulemaking process, cormorants and meetings, including how to register, can be found here.

 

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Kill every one of those stupid birds!!!!!

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They can be killed, every year they are. There is a NY State cap # we can only kill up to that number state wide per year. That cap # has been drastically lowered for NY State and the whole North East CAP # also.  So please if you take the time to send comments on this VERY IMPORTANT ISSUE, include that you want to see the cap RAISED,( number of cormorants allowed to be killed per year).  Trying to include the damage they do to "Free swimming fish populations"

 

Jerry

RUNNIN REBEL

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They are also major polluters even more than the geese. They have ruined some freshwater ponds on Cape Cod because of it and I'm sure they are contributors around here too.

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Les,

They are DEVASTATING to the ponds/smaller bodies of waters throughout the entire Northeast. And that destruction is done with lightning speed.

 

Jerry

RUNNIN REBEL

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Picture Lake Trout after eating Mighty Taco. 

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Picture Lake Trout after eating Mighty Taco       HAAAHA

And the smell of a cup of worms left in your refrigerator for 3 years

 

 

If we could produce and submit  a single response from the Lake Ontario United members that each of us could copy and send with an added story/experience of our own to more personalize the message, I believe more people would participate simply from the convenience and then our numbers could possibly have a little more weight.

 

Jerry

RUNNIN REBEL

Edited by RUNNIN REBEL

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There are petitions and/or polls that could be created and sent with an official LOU stance. 

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2 hours ago, Gill-T said:

Picture Lake Trout after eating Mighty Taco. 

 

For those who don't know what Mighty Taco is, you can replace it with a double dose of Taco Bell

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This is so very important. It doesn't matter where you fit in NY fisheries. They decimate native trout streams, eradicate Largemouths from lily pad patches, rob Smallmouths from rivers and rocky reefs and most certainly pilfer stocking sites (after all the work DEC does raising them and volunteers do penning them). 

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23 hours ago, RUNNIN REBEL said:

 

 

 

If we could produce and submit  a single response from the Lake Ontario United members that each of us could copy and send with an added story/experience of our own to more personalize the message, I believe more people would participate simply from the convenience and then our numbers could possibly have a little more weight.

 

Jerry

RUNNIN REBEL

       We were made aware of this several weeks ago at my I-Bay Fish & Game Club by a member who belongs to the Conservation Council. A letter was written with some specific examples of damage to Irondequoit Bay. We plan on getting as many of our 350 members as we can to forward the letter.

I'll "try" and see if I can post the letter here as an example

Kevin

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22 hours ago, UNREEL said:

We were made aware of this several weeks ago at my I-Bay Fish & Game Club by a member who belongs to the Conservation Council. A letter was written with some specific examples of damage to Irondequoit Bay. We plan on getting as many of our 350 members as we can to forward the letter.

I'll "try" and see if I can post the letter here as an example

Kevin

 

Kevin That would VERY HELPFUL.   And thanks for your time and effort also.

 

Jerry

RUNNIN REBEL

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February 11, 2020



 

Public Comment Processing
FWS-HQ-2019-0103
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service HQ
MS: JAO/1N
5275 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA. 22041-3803

Dear sirs:
      We urge you to apply our tax dollars to cormorant management to reverse the devastating damage that is being done to Lake Ontario.   Zebra mussels, gobies, and now cormorants are a problem for our local ecology.
      Snyder Island is being decimated by roosting cormorants.  The soil is being effected by their excrement which is causing significant damage to native vegetation.  Each spring fewer and fewer trees leaf out. The same goes for other areas around Irondequoit Bay.
      Cormorants are having a negative effect on the Lake Ontario fishery.  The DEC stocks   game fish only to have their efforts devoured by cormorants.  The charter boat captains are losing customers and revenue due to these invasive birds being protected.
       
Sincerely,

 

 

This is the letter we have sent to the USFWS HQ. Use it as a guideline with your own specific examples and locations. This is the only way to get something going to manage these good for nothing birds.

Edited by UNREEL
spelling

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Thanks for posting Jerry,

 

I was just going to post this and saw you were all over it.  

 

Just  remember when posting electronically, they don't want to see opinions necessarily but prefer facts, things you have witnessed and or know.  Like the decimation of the trees and the mess they make in Wilson Harbor. (west side)... Or one witnessing them consume newly stocked smolts, etc..  or...

 

Speak now or be forever quiet!

 

Capt. Pete

 

https://www.fws.gov/regulations/cormorant/

Cormorant1.jpg

Cormorant2.jpg

Cormorant3.jpg

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