October 25, 2015
As I reflect on my fishing exploits this past summer, keeping in mind they were not very productive, I couldn’t help but think about who or what affected my outcome. Yea, there was NOAA and the National Marine Fisheries Service and their closed seasons, work, (it does get in the way) the excessive amount of northeast wind we had to endure late in the season and the seal population explosion in the northeast which I have written about in my prior post. But it became very obvious to me, on my way home every day that there might very well be another problem? The often overlooked but dreaded CORMORANT!
You see, on my way home most days, I happen to cross over the Point Pleasant Canal, on Route #88 where these, “Coyotes with wings,” can be seen perched on the cables that stretch across this waterway.
Studies by the New Jersey Audubon Society, which seems to be dedicated to animals and not humans, estimates that each one of these birds eats about a pound of fish per day. There are about 150 birds digesting what they ate in the above picture.
Now let’s do the math: 150 birds, (150lbs. of fish per day) times 30 days per month equals 4,500 lbs of fish per month. Now lets assume that they are present in our area for about 8 months per year, because they do migrate. Now 4,500 lbs. times 8 months equals 36,000 lbs of fish per year that these things eat. OH…and by the way, if your local water quality is important to you? Yea, what goes in goes out. NOW THAT IS OVER/FISHING!
If it were only the 150 cormorants in the the above picture that I was competing with for a meal or two it might be something one could easily dismiss, but there are so many of them that the US Fish and Wildlife Service has come up with a program to cull them by using sharpshooters with rifles and shotguns in and around the Columbia River in Colorado. I just happen to know of a good spot we could start taking out about “150” of these predators locally.
I will therefore abide by all the, “Allowable” catch B…S… if the seals and the cormorants do the same!
In the meantime…I’ll keep an eye on the situation!