2020 Cormorant Count

The Cormorant Count this year indicates a strong increase in the numbers of cormorants. In 2019 we counted 353 and in 2020 the count was 617.  We continue to have difficulty counting the cormorants on Potato Island where most of the cormorants reside even during the time we count them.  We currently take pictures of the island and then try to count them and this has its limitations. Future plans will be to use a drone to take pictures and count the number of birds.  There was an increase in cormorants on west Vermilion too as increased numbers were seen in the water and resting on small islands.  With the perch population at high levels on the west end, they are obviously drawing more birds to this area.  The perch population on the east end was at an all-time low last year.  The DNR was not able to count the nests on Potato island this year, but with the increased numbers, one could assume there has been little change with approximately 300 nests.

The Federal wildlife service recently asked for comments on their proposal to start allowing country wide control of Cormorants again, but they would turn over the responsibility to determine where to control the cormorants to the state DNR’s.  Several members of the board have responded in favor of control of the cormorants.  Control will be limited to lakes where damage is occurring to the fishery, other bird populations or destruction of vegetations where they nest or rest.

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