Cormorants on tree

Ontario Minister Announces the Cormorant Hunt is On!

Through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the Ontario government announced today that a cormorant hunting season has finally been approved and is scheduled to run from September 15th to December 31st. The Honourable Minister John Yakabuski made the announcement live on the fishncanada.com webcast with Ang and Pete at approximately 12:45 PM today.

This great (and long overdue) bit of news will be applauded by anglers, hunters and marine property owners throughout this province, who have long been demanding action in hopes of controlling the ever-growing population of cormorants. Minister Yakabuski said, “Since I’ve been an MPP for seventeen years, that’s one of the questions I’ve been asked repeatedly. When are we going to do something to control the cormorant population that is devastating property and islands… here in Ontario?”

But property loss is just one of the contentious issues surrounding this very efficient fish-eating machine. Ontario’s fish stocks have also fallen victim to these birds. Minister Yakabuski went on to say, “143,000 cormorants in the province of Ontario eating a pound [of fish] a day each is having a massive effect on our fish stocks.”

Although not all of the rules and regulations were announced today by the Minister, he did indicate that some standard hunting regulations will apply. “You can’t abandon the bird once it’s been harvested… and there will be a bag limit of fifteen per day.”

There are some obvious concerns that we, as the outdoors community, should have about this. As one of the viewers of today’s webcast, Calvin Pennell, stated: “Careful that you don’t try to solve one problem and create another… The optics look good, but this could get dangerous if not strictly controlled.”

In the meantime, the Ontario Government has gone where no other previous government has ventured before, and we applaud them for this bold move. Bring on the hunt!

8 Replies to “Ontario Minister Announces the Cormorant Hunt is On!”

  1. Okay, I know I’m going to catch a lot of flack for voicing my opinion. That is just one of many repercussions of perusing the internet. Whether you attack me verbally or lambaste me ferociously with your keyboard antics, it makes no never mind when the truth is involved. I have found on many occasions, that most often, revealing the truth is a calculated risk, that most people are unwilling to pursue. At this point, I am willing to take that risk.

    What everyone fails to realize, “Who is actually at fault concerning the Cormorant’s over population and their subsequent ravenous behavior”? Human’s have many bad habits, which in particular includes blaming everyone but themselves when problems arise. Greed and avarice play an all to negative part with the problem we now face.

    Let me point out, we all know the Sport fishing Industry is a multi billion dollar life sustaining business. Advocates like myself, want to ensure it remains profitable. We do everything we can from cleaning up the environment to stocking fish in numerous watersheds, but erroneously assume that we are in full control. We are NOT ! The forces of nature can not be controlled! We are only stewards of this entity

    You see where I am going here? The problem we now face is of our own doing! Animals and birds will only do what nature has afforded them to carry out. Upsetting their natural balance has it consequences as we are now observing with the Cormorant. Instinctively, our own greed and avarice behavior through environmental damage, irresponsible restocking programs, fish pens, over harvesting, poaching and many other self important issues has brought us where we are today.

    Sure I know these Cormorants are a problem, but we have no one to blame but ourselves from bad stewardship. We should be looking at the cause, not the effect! It seems through human behavior we have been taught to kill anything we do no like or control. Should we now eradicate Canadian Geese because they poop in our parks and on our lawns? How about Sea Gulls, with their infinite desire to vent their feces on our cars, statues, buildings and so forth? It is highly likely dozens of other creatures that fall into this category. Should we kill them all? Wipe them from the face of the earth? The thirst for blood speaks volumes about your own personalities.

    We ourselves are our own worst enemy. We refuse to take the blame for our own mistakes. We complain about invasive species until blue in the face, yet freely introduce invasive Pacific and Atlantic salmon, Common Carp and other so called sport fish into our lakes and rivers for our pleasure. Yes, these fish are invasive and quite frankly have upset the natural balance in ways we may not even be aware. But our greed and avarice have taught us that is perfectly alright as long as there is a financial benefit.

    What’s that you say? This all B.S.? Well, you have just proven my point. We have been taught to kill anything we do no like or can not control. The inability to own our mistakes causes us all to be a danger to the environment. Rationalizing, by making excuses for our mistakes even more so. Blaming the Cormorant is nothing more than a cop out!

  2. Furthermore, there are a few other misconceptions that are precariously ignored. As was stated “Solving one problem and creating another” is more than just frivolous claptrap.

    The Honourable Minister John Yakabuski states, “You can’t abandon the bird once it’s been harvested… and there will be a bag limit of fifteen per day.”….Question: Who is going to enforce these regulations? There are not even enough Conservation Officers available to enforce fishing regulations in Ontario, yet you want to dump this in their laps. Oh yes, just hire more Officers? Cost efficiency now comes into play. Perhaps license fees for hunting these birds will cover the cost. Let’s not over look the cost of ammunition each hunter will incur. Yes, you will be paying for this cull, not the government.

    No offense, but if recent blood thirsty attitudes are any indication, I can almost guarantee as this melee ensues, most will abandon the carcass and shoot more than their bag limit. This raises another very serious concern. Wounded birds and rotting carcasses will no doubt attract Vultures, Hawks, Eagles and other predatory avian creatures. That’s right, their populations will likely explode. Case in point; Over the past few years, my wife and I have observed literally thousands of Turkey Vultures at Lake Kelso in Milton. They have destroyed several trees with their droppings alone. Unknown to the average person/angler, huge uncontrolled flocks of Vultures already thrive across Ontario. They not only eat carrion but also live and wounded prey. I have seen these birds snatch pets and other animals from neighborhoods. Shall we now draw our weapons and blast away at what we can not control? Most assuredly, they will become a problem during this latest blood letting.

    Let’s not forget other fish eating birds that populate Ontario watersheds, such as Great Blue Herons, Egrets, Common Terns, Caspian Terns, Anhingas, Black Crowned Night Herons and Great Egrets just to name a few. Lock and load boys and girls!

    Most importantly, “Where are these hunts going to take place?” At the beach? Your local marina? Public Resorts? Your cottage? Your neighborhood? How about collateral damage? Will open carry become a norm? These birds are everywhere! Flocks of Cormorants as I have observed, fly just a few feet above the water. Boaters may now be at risk.

    By the way, how did our little problem with the invasive Gobi, Zebra Mussel, Asian Carp, Big Head Carp, Silver Carp, Black Carp and Grass Carp work out? Time to break out the “Depth Charges”, eh?

    You know full well with the blood thirsty attitudes I see on display, uncontrolled indiscriminate behaviors will take flight. Death and injuries will likely occur. Nonsense you say? Again, you have just proven my point.

    We have more birds simply because there are more fish! Stop seeding the lakes and rivers!

    1. Going by those statistics offered by Canadian government minister Min Yakabuski, he asserts Cormorants consume 1,295,000 lbs of fish per week or 5,180,000 lbs. per month or 62,160,000 lbs. per year – not taking into account what anglers, commercial fishermen, predatory fish and other animals catch. That being said, would submit that the fish stocks of Ontario should have been entirely wiped by now – even before these birds are brought under some sort of control. We know that did not happen.There is no logical way anyone can determine or otherwise estimate how many pounds of fish Cormorants consume. Man is the only species on this earth that will cause another species to become extinct. These statistics are nothing more than a blind guess to justify a cull. Call me an internet troll if you like, but facts don’t lie.

    2. Free speech. That’s the beauty of our country(at least it is for now) and everyone has the right to have and voice an opinion. In an effort to voice yours Calvin you have in one statement rendered everything you say mute. “No offense, but if recent blood thirsty attitudes are any indication”, shows that you have a serious anti-hunting/hunter bias and don’t understand us at all or the sport we love. You also don’t understand how highly regulated and monitored we are. Please in the future if you wish to try and make a point or several points please stick to facts and hard data and not resort to personal comments which are intended to malign and are not based in reality.

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