Bergman Takes Aim at Cormorants

Last week, Congressman Jack Bergman introduced H.R. 4429, the Cormorant Control Act, bipartisan legislation to address cormorant depredation in Michigan’s First District.

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Washington, November 20, 2017 | comments
Management of the double-crested cormorant has long been a successful, comprehensive endeavor between state agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). However, a recent court order has left our state and Michigan’s First District unable to respond to the negative effects these migratory birds have on our fish populations. 

“This issue is of the utmost importance to states like Michigan. Inaction threatens our fish populations, and in turn, the livelihood of recreational and commercial fishing industries, which are critical to our economy.”  

Since coming to Congress, Congressman Bergman has held numerous meetings with U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS), the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, sportsmen’s clubs, and conservation groups in an effort to chart the best path forward for the control and management of the cormorant. 

“I am encouraged by what this Administration and the USFWS has done to comply with the court’s decision but it is Congress, not the Courts, that should be setting policy. I believe this legislation strikes at the heart of the problem for my district. Thousands of pounds of fish are consumed by cormorants in Northern Michigan's free swimming fisheries, and if left unchecked, the cormorant could decimate our open water fish populations.” 

The Cormorant Control Act would direct Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke to reissue the 2014 rule related to double-crested cormorant depredation orders: allowing Michigan to resume responsible cormorant management activities.

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