[CT Birds] Cormorant Population Question

lpflynn at optonline.net lpflynn at optonline.net
Tue Apr 20 15:53:58 EDT 2010


If for a moment we were to compare the year 1980 to our present day 2010, in these thirty years what has changed?
In 1980 the winter flounder populations were flourishing, the striped bass population was critically low (this is a highly voracious fish species native to LIS) and their were a handful of Double-creasted Cormorants around LIS.
Today the winter flounder population is very low, those voracious striped bass are a dime a dozen,
( I have found many flounder up to two or more pounds in striped bass stomach contents) and the DC Corms are everywhere. Lets throw in a few other predators that are more commonly seen these days such as seals and porpoise, it's easy to see that it has to be frightening to be near the bottom of the food chain in LIS
We are by far using more chemicals and fertilisers on our lawns these days than thirty years ago, I think just about all of Connecticut is in the watershed of LIS, those nasties we put on our lawns eventually find their way to the Sound.
We also have turned into a drug dependent nation, we are prescribed a pill for everything these days, when we relieve ourselves these drugs could be passing onward, down the sewers and not stopping at the treatment facilities, but onto the waters of LIS, I often wonder if there is any effect from birth control pills on marine life, flounder spawn (or lack of) in particular? 
There are alarming studies of deformed frogs in ponds around developments with septic systems, this is small scale compared to LIS but clearly shows the effects of drugs and chemicals flushed into the environment. (please don't flush those pills down the toilet, they will continue to work on other living things)
In these thirty years our population has increased, adding more demand. In 1980 it was comfortable to be on a boat on a lovely Sunday afternoon on LIS, today you need the QE II to be safe from all the boat wakes, boats add stress to the marine environment. 
In 1980 a recreational fisherman could catch and keep as many winter flounder as they wished, today the limit is two fish per person with closed seasons, it is a tragic loss.
The recreational winter flounder fishery has been State regulated for ten or so years, and although recreational fishermen take their piece of the pie each year, this piece of pie is miniscule today compared to 1980, which easily sustained itself back then. I cannot talk about Commercial because I don't have the numbers, but it is down also. I can understand fishermen being upset with cormorants, they are a cause to the depletion of fish species but as you can see, they are hardly the cause.
I came across these words a while back concerning Governmental Fishing Regulations, I ponder it often. "should fish be managed or should humans"

Larry Flynn
http://www.long-tails.blogspot.com/



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