Thursday, 26 March 2015

Updated Cormorant proposals

Sorry, yet another Cormorants post! I've been forwarded these updated, more formal proposals for reducing Cormorant predation at the lakes, which look to be final. I'm generally happy with these, except for the "immediate use" of active scaring, suggesting it could be done during the breeding season, so will seek clarification on this.


Earlswood Lakes Cormorant Predation Proposal

Reduce perching locations for cormorants:

  • Removal of tree limbs from the two trees either end of the narrow island (closest to Engine pool) on Terry’s pool. (Time scale 3 months subject to nesting birds)
  • Installation fabric meshing to wooden posts surrounding the narrow island (closest to Engine pool). This should both discourage perching and also allow for natural reeds to establish behind. (Time scale 3 months subject to nesting birds)
  • Perimeter fencing on floating islands on Engine pool (see habitat improvements)
  • Remove Tern raft from terry’s pool (see habitat improvements)

Active scaring of cormorants:

  • Stop the action of using a metal bar to rap on tree trunks and fishing stages. (Time scale immediate)
  • Permit the use of an instrument such as two pieces of wood that can be rapped together to create a cracking sound to disturb visible and active cormorants. Open to options, possible football rattle. (Time scale immediate use as required)

Habitat improvements:

  • Carl Nicholls and Paul Wilkinson to explore options and solution for underwater fish refuges in the lakes. (Time scale 3 months)
  • Installation of fish refuges within the lakes (Time scale 9 months)
  • Paul Wilkinson along with new volunteer person (to be appointed) take forward repairs and re-establishing of floating islands on Engine pool. This is to include new planted coir matting and perimeter fencing around the islands to allow the young plants to establish and also reduce cormorant perching opportunities. (Time scale 9 months)
  • Remove tern raft from Terry’s pool to allow for repairs and design modification to improve target birds use. (Time scale 3 months subject to nesting birds)

Record Keeping:

  • Fishery bailiff and open match fishing organisers to keep daily records of: Date, Time of day, Cormorants seen flying over, Cormorants seen on the lakes, Cormorants seen feeding (yes/no) and photographic evidence of damage caused to fish by Cormorant predation.
  • Annual records of Cormorant numbers recorded by local bird groups.

A review of measures and effectiveness of actions after 12 months.

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