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  1. #1
    GBO Member Nick Toth's Avatar
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    Ontario's Proposed Cormorant Hunt...

    I caught this today on CBC:

    https://www.cbc.ca/listen/shows/onta...isode/15682311

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I was left scratching my head and stroking my chin when the Cormorant hunt was first announced in December about 6 months into Ford's premiership. No matter what one's attitude to the bird, a daily 50 bag limit is excessive.

    My observations are that the birds were fewer in the past few years and perhaps a trend to equilibrium was underway.

    The initiative is wrong-headed and rash in my view.

  2. #2
    Nick, not too sure if you fish down on Lake Ontario at all but there are tons of birds there. Any given day I’m out I’ve seen flocks of 200 plus birds go zipping by its insane. I believe they are still destroying a lot of green spaces let alone the amount of fish they consume. Whatever they decide I hope guys are careful who will be hunting for them if this gets passed.

  3. #3
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    Lake Simcoe and cooch.has them coming out our ears.Bloody things.

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    Sorry Nick can't agree with you. I'm seeing cormorant in the centre of Algonquin Park in inland lakes. They are still building in numbers as far as I can see and their range is expanding as a result. Not sure about the limit of 50 being excessive but I doubt you'll find many hunters wasting money on cormorants so I'd suggest they could make it 500 it won't matter.

    This won't solve the problem unless the government decides to cull them properly instead of trying to get hunters to cull for them.

  5. #5
    GBO Member Nick Toth's Avatar
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    I've seen firsthand the damage and predations: I won't bore you with my numerous encounters. Management is necessary.

    I ask all of you who responded, did you play the programme stream before replying? That's where the discussion should follow.

    My problem is with the path of action in dealing with an extremely complex situation involving all of Ontario's waters as discussed on the segment.

  6. #6
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    Uh oh! Must confess I didn't watch the show before I commented. Time to do some homework LOL.

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    Don't have the data to listen to the whole (caught a portion of it ) show but I see what you're concerned about. The cormorant cull isn't a hunt and it needs to be presented to the public as such or it would reflect badly on hunting in general. It's also a high profile hunt given that cottagers and other water users will witness some of the culling so we better make sure as hunters we don't come off looking reckless or unsafe.

    I doubt hunters will bother targeting cormorants. It'll be an incidental cull IMO.

  8. #8
    GBO Member Nick Toth's Avatar
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    The broadcast reveals a number of issues.

    First, Cormorants are a native species. Before their extirpation by DDT, they were part of the Ontario landscape. For better or for worse, they are back again. The proposed "hunt" will probably wipe out an entire population of birds that is part of the natural scene in a very short time.

    Listen to the discussion of the total population numbers. My reading is that at there are fewer birds than I thought. There are discussions of population counts and how old the surveys are.

    The decision was a snap one. Apparently it came about as a notion that emerged as policy with no input from MNR staff or experts or other stakeholders. The complexity of managing the cormorant population was never considered. The birds inhabit the most part of Ontario and their populations' impacts differ in every region.

    Dan, I never considered your point about reflecting badly on hunters: you're right.

    I'm more concerned with rash, ill-considered policy based on "notion" involving really complex issues where "you have to know stuff."

    I'm off to watch the Jays now, but will return with a question that just occurred to me.

  9. #9
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    While I like Doug Ford's willingness to move on an issue, he has a habit of acting too quickly then needing to fall back to a more defensible postion. eg Autism parents

    I guess he sees the inertia in government and he tends to react without doing his homework.

    You're right cormorants are native. After so many years of low numbers I have to wonder if their natural predators and diseases decreased as well. Predators often don't key in on a species until it's been around for a while. I'm wondering if the predators may eventually return cormorants to their list of edibles.

  10. #10
    GBO Member Nick Toth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Toth View Post
    The broadcast reveals a number of issues.
    I'm off to watch the Jays now, but will return with a question that just occurred to me.
    Here is the question.

    I'm 74 years old and grew up with Lake Erie. I worked one summer on a fishing tug out of Point Pelee, another summer on the Marentette marsh and another working for the National Park Service at Point Pelee, as well as doing all the things kids do growing up in a lake town - fishing, hiking, boating and, ahh... never mind.

    I never knew what a cormorant was until I was finally(?) an adult in my mid-20s. I was visiting my hometown on a weekend, walking out to the end of the pier when I spotted a long row of unfamiliar black shapes out on the lake speedily skimming just above the water. The image is etched.

    The birds were a part of our system until DDT wiped them out beginning in 1945 when it became available for public use until 1972 when its use was restricted.

    Sometime before the DDT ban, probably toward the end rather than beginning, an ocean going vessel emptied a sea water ballast releasing Ale Wives into the Great Lakes. Well, we know where that led, don't we? I'll let someone more knowledgeable than me to expand and enlarge, but briefly the Ale Wives created such problems, that Pacific Salmonids were introduced to control the population. This led to our common passion on this board.

    Now, here is my question. If DDT had not killed off the Crested Cormorant would they have dealt with the Ale Wives? Their predation of forage fish is one of our objections to the presence because it affects our Trout/Salmon fishery.

    There are several possible outcomes had our Cormorants survived, but I'm getting ready for the Jays game. G'night.

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