After another mild winter, once again the cormorants hunted fish intensively in Danish freshwaters. The conclusion is that the cormorants in streams and lakes during the winter months has become a permanent phenomenon. After the winter of 2009-10, when the bird for the first time hunted intensively in the streams it was evidenced that populations of salmon, grayling and trout had been seriously affected in several streams. There is therefore every reason to believe that the cormorants’ new hunting behaviour can affect the fisheries in many streams and lakes. Danmarks Sportsfiskerforbund wants to raise awareness about the problem with this video.
At present the number of cormorants in the streams is less since the fishing season began in April, but the birds still can affect negatively the migrating fish in particular, as happens in the mouth of the river Skjern and in the fjord of Ringkøbing. About 1,000 cormorants – maybe more – are hunting there when wild trout and salmon smolts are heading for the sea. In this TV spot the Environmental Coordinator of Danmarks Sportsfiskerforbund explains the problem, which has already received considerable political attention locally.
The change in cormorant behavior and the new observations at river Skjern is the reason why Danmarks Sportsfiskerforbund and other stakeholders will soon contact the Minister of Environment and the Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries to suggest some initiatives to address the cormorant’s excessive predation in general and in the fjord of Ringkøbing and the river Skjern in particular.