U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Virginia Tech AAEC-231 (2020). Virginia Cooperative Extension


Catfish aquaculture is an important agricultural commodity in Mississippi with most of the production. occurring in the Delta region of the state. A vital factor in managing these farms is reducing fish loss from bird depredation. The most notable bird species that consume catfish are Double-crested Cormorants. These migratory waterbirds arrive in fall and remain in the region throughout winter. Cormorant interactions with catfish aquaculture have previously been studied, but recent changes in the industry warrant collection of new data to understand the dynamic between catfish aquaculture and cormorants. The Southern Regional Aquaculture Center recently funded a study to estimate the impact of cormorants on the catfish industry. Cormorant depredation can vary across months and years, individual farms, and production techniques, all of which are influenced by various environmental and human factors. The following information is based on research conducted in the Mississippi Delta over winters (October – April) 2016-2018 by Mississippi State University and USDA National Wildlife Research Center.