US Fish & Wildlife Service


Date of this Version



Published by the U.S. Department of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture APHIS Wildlife Services (2003) 208 pages.


Populations of Double-crested Cormorants have been increasing rapidly in many parts of the U.S. since the mid-1970s. This abundance has led to increased conflicts, both real and perceived, with various biological and socioeconomic resources, including recreational fisheries, other birds, vegetation, and hatchery and commercial aquaculture production. This document describes and evaluates six alternatives (including the proposed action) for the purposes of reducing conflicts associated with cormorants, enhancing the flexibility of natural resource agencies to deal with cormorant conflicts, and ensuring the long-term conservation of cormorant populations. There are four chapters that make up the critical components of an Environmental Impact Statement. Chapter 1, Purpose and Need, describes the purpose of and need for the action. Chapter 2, Alternatives, describes the six management alternatives that we considered: (1) Continue current cormorant management practices (No Action); (2) implement only nonlethal management techniques; (3) expand current cormorant damage management practices; (4) establish a new depredation order to address public resource conflicts (PROPOSED ACTION); (5) reduce regional cormorant populations; and (6) establish frameworks for a cormorant hunting season. Chapter 3, Affected Environment, introduces the reader to the environmental categories upon which the analysis of alternatives in chapter 4 is based: cormorant populations, fish, other birds, vegetation, Federally-listed Threatened and Endangered species, water quality and human health, economic impacts, fish hatcheries and environmental justice, property losses, and existence and aesthetic values. Chapter 4, Environmental Consequences, analyzes the predicted impacts of each alternative on the environmental categories outlined in chapter 3 and in comparison to the No Action alternative. The environmental analysis presented in Chapter 4 indicates that the PROPOSED ACTION: will cause the estimated take of