Showing posts with label Penrose. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Penrose. Show all posts

June 08, 2005

The Trouble (or not) with Cormorants

Driving with M. up to Tom Hirt's hat shop in Penrose today to order a birthday-present Panama hat, I saw a cormorant fly overhead as we crossed the Arkansas River at Florence.

When I was a kid, I hardly ever saw one. The same DDT that weakened the eggs of bald eagles attacked these fish-eating birds. I once photographed several cormorants sitting on a half-submerged log somewhere in the Sand Hills of Nebraska and thought I was seeing an exotic species. Now they are an "environmental success story"--or not, depending who you ask.

Allegations that cormorants are hurting game fish populations are now common. It's turned into a predictable battle between angler-funded state agencies and animal-rightists.

In the UK, where everything to do with sport fishing and shooting is so much more complicated, expensive, and screwed up, we see similar conflicts. "Cormorant Busters," indeed.

I haven't heard so much anger over cormorants here in Colorado, but maybe I haven't been hanging around at the right bait shops. I am hoping to go back to Penrose this evening to try for crappie at this little irrigation impoundment, and I will look for cormorants.

Meanwhile, summer will be half gone before the hat is ready, but that is the price you pay for custom work.

UPDATE: Two cormorants (two more than I would have seen ten years ago), no crappie, too much wind, but success on bluegills and too-small-to-keep largemouth bass.