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Lawmakers consider resuming lethal control of cormorants

June 11, 2018

ALPENA, Mich. (AP) — Congress is considering legislation that would allow government agencies to resume killing double-crested cormorants, which feast on fish in the Great Lakes and elsewhere.

A federal judge in 2016 ordered a halt to lethal control measures against the birds, saying the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hadn’t done enough research to determine whether further efforts were needed.

U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman of Michigan has introduced a bill that would restore authority to continue the measures in Michigan and 23 other states.

The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing on the issue Monday in Alpena.

Sporting groups say cormorants reduce populations of prized sport fish such as smallmouth bass and yellow perch.

Critics say the birds’ effects on fish numbers are exaggerated.

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