Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conferences


Date of this Version

November 1995


Production of aquaculture species, especially catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) in the Mississippi Delta, is a relatively new and expanding industry. Catfish production represents the largest dollar value of the aquaculture industry, accounting for approximately 50% of the entire industry. Mississippi is responsible for 82% of the total U.S. catfish production. Fish-eating bird populations have capitalized on this new food source. Double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax sauritus), great blue herons (Ardea herodias) , and great egrets (Casmerodius albus) are the primary predators on catfish. Cormorant caused losses in excess of $2 million per year have been reported in Mississippi. U.S. Department of Agriculture research and operational assistance programs have been established in the southeast to determine the economic impact that birds have on the aquaculture industry, and to develop and implement technology that can be used in integrated strategies to solve bird predation.