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Re: El Cormorante
Bruce Condello #117107 04/29/08 01:10 PM
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GW - suppose your pond goals were intentionaly to be bass heavy and your intention was grow big BG, would you still want the commorants tharwting your goal by eating most of your bass? Just because one 17" LMB escaped a commorant doesn't mean that the rest of the 17"ers are safe, if I googled right they can eat fish up to 415 mm long. \:o Let's hope they didn't find any of my high priced SMB.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/corm01sec3.pdf

Last edited by Shorty; 04/29/08 01:24 PM.


Re: El Cormorante
ewest #117109 04/29/08 01:26 PM
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 Originally Posted By: ewest
One thing that does not depend - I am not farming out my management function to an uncontrolled flock of hungry birds that eat every fish in sight. \:\/


The birds may not be under direct control, but there is certainly a limit to how much they could eat in a given period. I'm sure someone who studied cormorants could give a fair estimate.

I'm not suggesting that people go out of their way to attract cormorants, but I can see how their presence could benefit a bass-heavy pond at times. All I'm saying is that it doesn't seem logical to me that a person with too many 12" LMB gets freaked out because one cormorant is seen preying on their fish.

I always end up coming back to the same question; don't the vast majority of ponds suffer from under harvesting? And isn't it possible that many of these ponds would benefit from certain wild predators in limited quantities?

By all means you should monitor and control the number and species of wild predators, but I can't see how every wild predator is cause for great alarm.

 Originally Posted By: Shorty
GW - suppose your pond goals were intentionaly to be bass heavy and your intention was grow big BG, would you still want the commorants tharwting your goal by eating most of your bass? Just because one 17" LMB escaped a commorant doesn't mean that the rest of the 17"ers are safe, if I googled right they can eat fish up to 600 mm long. \:o Let's hope they didn't find any of my high priced SMB.


No Shorty, if I wanted to be heavy with 12" LMB I wouldn't want anyone or anything to remove them.

And, if cormorants can eat 24" LMB then I retract my comments. I would also have much more respect for cormorants in general. Now if the 24" bass weighed 2 lbs. then it might be better that it gets eaten after all.


EDIT: My conversion of fish length to 24" was based on the original figure posted of 600 mm.

Last edited by GW; 04/29/08 01:30 PM.


Re: El Cormorante
Bruce Condello #117112 04/29/08 01:34 PM
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GW wrote: "I don't know about that Sunil, Shorty's post seem to suggest that one tried to eat a 17" fish and failed. It stands to reason that they would probably be most successful in the 10-15" range, and that seems like a common population to target for culling."


GW, if you want cormorants at your pond, more power to you; try it.

I disagree that poachers are any different; Bruce's analogy is spot-on. Most poachers take any fish that they catch regardless of size or species, and they have zero respect for the land that they are raping.

Cormorants are not something that you can turn on or off at your own fancy.

At any rate, one can't hold up a few isolated incidents or reports against the larger body of knowledge and experience of the damage that cormorants (or poachers) can do to a body of water.

Shorty's finding could have been a heron also. We have many documented cases of damage done by herons.

Mother Nature certainly can create her own pond management plan for your pond, and if her goal matches your goals, then again, more power to you. She will eventually reach some kind of balance.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

Re: El Cormorante
Sunil #117113 04/29/08 01:48 PM
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GW, I am sure there is a definite limit on how many fish a cormorant can eat in a day. Is there a limit on how many cormorants can show up at one's ponds? That's the scary thought.

I will tolerate ONE (and only one) GBH and a pair of LGH at my pond. No appearances here by El Cormorante yet.

Do Cormorants kill fish by spearing (or otherwise wounding) that they don't/can't eat? I am pretty sure that GBH sometimes do that with fish too big to swallow..


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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Re: El Cormorante
Sunil #117114 04/29/08 01:49 PM
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GW, I did some more googling and the Great Comorant along the east coast can eat fish up to 600 mm long but they are not that common in the United States, they are more of a European bird. The double crested cormorant which is very common here can eat fish up to 415 mm which converts to 16.3" long. Sorry for the confusion.



Re: El Cormorante
Shorty #117115 04/29/08 01:56 PM
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Most people are not at the pond all the time. A 3 acre pond can go from fish (name your kind) heavy to dang near empty when the cormorant hoard dines. How do I know this ? I have friends who farm catfish commercially who have had their ponds of adult CC (market size) pummeled when the horde descended. Quite common for them to lose $10,000 in catfish in a day.

Double-crested Cormorants
eat about 1 pound of fish per day
and are the most destructive birds
to inland aquaculture, especially
catfish production. A recent study
estimated that the damage they
cause to catfish production is $10
million to $13 million annually in
Mississippi..

Additionally,
potential losses may be higher than
one would estimate by consumption
alone because birds often
wound fish that they do not eat.
The importance of birds as vectors
of fish diseases has yet to be determined.
















Re: El Cormorante
ewest #117118 04/29/08 04:37 PM
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I heard a sound in the sky two nights ago as I was putting up another scarecrow on my Dad's pond, and when I looked over my shoulder I saw El Cormorante numbering 49.

I chill went down my spine...

I'm not kidding.


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
Re: El Cormorante
Bruce Condello #117121 04/29/08 05:44 PM
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2 shook hands with a 220 swift this week! I have seen HUNDREDS, at daylight coming off roost, on both Calavaras and Brauning Lakes south of San Antonio. This would be 20-25 miles north of our place.

Re: El Cormorante
ahvatsa #117171 04/30/08 10:36 AM
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 Originally Posted By: Sunil
GW, if you want cormorants at your pond, more power to you; try it.

I'm not suggesting that anyone try to attract cormorants to their pond.

 Originally Posted By: Sunil
I disagree that poachers are any different; Bruce's analogy is spot-on. Most poachers take any fish that they catch regardless of size or species, and they have zero respect for the land that they are raping.

ewest's research shows that cormorants eat about a pound of fish per day. I don't believe cormorants can eat fish much larger than a pound. Poachers will usually target the largest fish they can catch, and they will certainly take more than one pound.

Poachers often damage your property besides taking fish, the birds only want some fish.

 Originally Posted By: Sunil
Cormorants are not something that you can turn on or off at your own fancy.

That's my point Sunil, we can't stop them from preying on our fish, so I'm trying to understand all of the implications. If each bird can eat about a pound of fish then we roughly know what is at stake when 2 dozen of them land on our ponds. I'm not saying to let them do whatever they want to, but the fact remains they MAY BE a good tool to aid in reducing the population in an overcrowded pond.

 Originally Posted By: Sunil
At any rate, one can't hold up a few isolated incidents or reports against the larger body of knowledge and experience of the damage that cormorants (or poachers) can do to a body of water.

I accept that cormorants can do damage to the balance of fish in ponds, but I maintain that in some cases their predation can improve a fishery. There would be several factors involved including the number of birds, the duration of their stay, the degree of fish overpopulation, etc. It all depends.

 Originally Posted By: Sunil
Mother Nature certainly can create her own pond management plan for your pond, and if her goal matches your goals, then again, more power to you. She will eventually reach some kind of balance.

Very true Sunil, and your statement gets to the heart of my point. The easiest and most efficient approach will always be the one that harmonizes with the effects of mother nature on our ponds.

Again, I'm not saying that we shouldn't discourage cormorants from our ponds, but at least we can understand the true nature of their influence. I don't believe they can eat our large fish, and we've seen evidence that each bird will only eat about one pound on any given day.



Re: El Cormorante
GW #117177 04/30/08 11:43 AM
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At one pound per day, 50-100 cormorants would have eaten 50-100 pounds of fish. They might have been at our pond for a day and a half, I don't know. If they ate small BG, that would have been good. I'm afraid they might have hit the 10-15 inch SMB pretty hard but who knows. This is definitely a case where this might have been a very good thing for the lake or a moderately bad thing. I doubt that I will ever know.


Norm Kopecky
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