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


Date of this Version

April 2006


Published in The Journal of Wildlife Management.


Double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) exhibit highly adaptive and opportunistic foraging behavior. This flexibility in foraging and increases in population size have led to conflicts with aquaculture and recreational and commercial fishing (Duffy 1995). Although double-crested cormorants roosting in the lower Mississippi Valley appear to have minimal negative impact on sport fisheries, they may have a significant impact on commercial aquaculture production in this region (Glahn and Brugger 1995, Glahn et al. 1998). In 2003, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released the Final Environmental Impact Statement on double-crested cormorant management allowing more flexibility in control of these birds in areas where they are negatively impacting aquaculture, habitat for nesting colonial waterbirds, and other public resources (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2003). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Final Rule expands the 1998 Public Resource Depredation Order (50 CFR 21.47) to permit control of double-crested cormorants at winter roost sites in the vicinity of aquaculture facilities.