By KATRIANNA RAY | March 13, 2020
By KATRIANNA RAY
Capital News Service
LANSING — More than 1,000 people have submitted public comments about a proposed U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service rule that would permit state wildlife agencies to authorize previously prohibited techniques to manage cormorant populations.
They would include killing some birds.
Under the proposed rule, each state would have the power to determine how to control cormorants, a migratory aquatic bird sometimes blamed for damaging fish populations in parts of the Great Lakes. The state agencies would need to work within limits set by the Fish & Wildlife Service.
Michigan is home to around 55% of North America’s double-crested cormorant’s breeding pairs, according to the Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC).
The double-crested cormorant is the most numerous and most widely distributed cormorant in North America, according to the National Audubon Society. They are the only cormorants to occur in large numbers outside of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
The birds are federally protected, making it illegal to take, possess, sell, transport or purchase any part of them.