When I was younger, if you wanted to see a cormorant you needed to head to the coast. Growing up in the wider Wolverhampton area, I didn’t encounter any other than when on holiday in Wales. Even then they weren’t as common as they are now.
In particular they are now found inland and that’s where the conflict with angling comes in. A cormorant eats at least 1lb of fish per day, which in itself may not seem like a lot but multiply that by half a dozen birds resident on a lake and you’ll soon witness a difference.
This has happened on one lake I fish. For the first time, over the winter I saw cormorants on there. Just a few birds birds over six months is a lot of fish and has to make a difference.
Going back this spring to fish myself, I have done numerous lure sessions after perch with just one fish and three sit-down trips with maggot as a bait have produced nothing at all.
Normally the margins are teeming with small fish and fry, This time I haven’t seen one. Retrieving a small lure it was always accompanied by at least one tiny inquisitive perch, often a small shoal of them. That hasn’t happened for me once this spring.
Catching a pike this week, the first thing I noticed once on the bank were the stab marks on it. I think it’s safe to say that cormorants are the culprits.
I don’t think you can deny that cormorants cause issues. The question is, what do you do? Let nature be and believe it will all work itself out in the end? Or intervene and manage the problem?
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