Control of cormorant population would aid local fishermen

The fishing public may finally get some relief from the Federal government, in regards to the double crested cormorant. In the Feb. 21 issue of the NY Outdoor news, contributing writer Dan Ladd wrote that the US Fish & Wildlife Service will be soliciting public input regarding management of cormorants.

Cormorants are migrating fish eating sea birds that have been around the Great lakes area en mass since the early 1970s. Cormorants are dark in color, have a wide wing span, a long bill (beak) and reportedly eat about 500 grams of fish per day individually. They colonize in areas and fan out daily about 20 miles from the colony core and eat. In concentrated numbers, their feces, called guano, is so acidic it will kill all plantlife. They can dive to great depths and consume fish including smelt, pan fish, bait fish newly stocked trout and salmonids, and whatever is available. They prey on fisheries raising fish for stocking purposes and aquacultures, that raise fish for stocking and commercial purposes.

Natural predators of cormorants are limited, and their numbers have been unchecked for decades. Federal regulations have protected these birds so much so that now they are a nuisance. Public outcry prompted a limited attempt to reduce the population of these birds. Fish & Wildlife personnel would destroy the eggs of these birds in the recognized colonies but that had limited results. The cormorants would just lay more eggs or move. Next officials would “oil” the eggs which would prevent proper incubation. Irate fishermen reportedly took matters into their own hands in some areas, as their livelyhood was being impacted by the cormorants. This practice has since stopped but public outcry was finally being listened to. A Federal judge stopped the limited oiling and nest destruction in 2016, and once again the cormorant population has escalated. The US Fish & wildlife Service is offering webinars to inform the public and accept comments on what should be done with the cormorant problem. The deadline for commentary is March 9. To submit commentary go to www.regulations.gov. You can also write to: public Comments Processing, Attention: FWS-HQ-MB-2019-0103; U.S. fish & Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS:JAO/1N,5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

Calendar: There will be additional Pistol courses at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, The first is on Wednesday February 26 from 5:30 p.m.- 10:30 p.m. There will be another course on Wednesday March 18 from 5:30 p.m. until 10:30 P.M. There is an $80 fee for these courses. For more information contact gary at 366- 3397. On Monday evenings the “Con Club”is looking for people interested in learning “how to tie their own fishing flies.” Several advanced fly-tiers will be on hand to give individual attention to persons who would like to learn this hobby. All materials and equipment are provided free. The learning area is secure and a controlled environment from 6 until 8 p.m. You get to keep what you make. Refreshments are usually provided and always free. No experience necessary, no sign up required. Just show up and have fun. This would be a great opportunity for scout leaders to bring their young charges in for a great learning experience. Call 366-1772 days if you need more information or a contact number.

Upcoming Gun Shows: March 7-8 at the Hickory Post VFW, located at 5550 East State Street (US Route 62, East of PA 18, West of Mercer on 62) Hermitage, PA, 16148. Times are Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

March 21-22, 2020 at the Harborcreek Fire Dept. Social Hall, located 7275 Buffalo Road, Harborcreek, PA, 16421 (Located US Route 20 between North East, PA and Harborcreek, PA). Times are Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

April 18-19 at the Ashtabula County Fairgrounds. The show is located at the Ashtabula County Expo Center Building at 127 North Elm Street, Jefferson, OH, 44047. Times are Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. For more information on any upcoming show listed call Larry Spicer at (716) 792-9972.

The 2020 Friends of the NRA banquet will be held on Saturday, Feb. 29 at the American Legion Samuel Derby Post 556 located at 9 Meadow Lane Frewsburg. Door open at 4:30 p.m. Live auction. dinner, huge raffle. Call Jennifer Schmitt at 487-2487 or go to chautauquacountyfriendsofnra@yahoo.com.

The Northern Chautauqua Ducks Unlimited Annual Banquet and Live Auction will be held on Saturday, March 7 at the Blessed Mary Angela Parish Social Center located at 324 Townsend St., Dunkirk. Doors opens at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. There will be a raffle and live auction. For tickets and information call Ronald Romance at 969-5166 or visit www.ducks.org/new.york/events.

There will be an Outdoor Show at the Salamanca Casino on Feb. 29 and March 1. For your convenience, a pistol clerk will be on hand during the event if you decide to purchase any firearms.

Children in the Stream will present weekly free fly-tying classes every Tuesday from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. in the Costello Room in the Rockefeller Art Center at the State University of New York Fredonia, The group has resumed activities on Jan. 27 after a short recess over the Christmas Holidays. Children ages 12 and up, including adults are welcome and encouraged to attend. All tools and material will be provided for free. Contact Alberto Rey for more information at 410-7003 or go to Alberto@albertorey.com

If your club or organization is holding a hunter safety training/trapping course or a turkey shoot or any other outdoors event, and would like to see it posted in the calendar, send information to the OBSERVER, 10 East Second Street, Dunkirk, NY 14048, or call the sports department at 366-3000 ext. 5 after 6 p.m.

Note: If you have a big game fishing or trapping success story you would like to share, call 366-1772, or 467-2079 and leave a name, phone number and a time you can be reached. You can also call 366-3000, ext. 5, after 6 p.m. or email sports@observertoday.com.


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