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LETTER: Cormorants are a horror story

Local cormorant population 'beyond belief,' says letter writer
2018-12-20 cormorant painting by Jimi McKee
This painting by Jimi McKee explains how the Orillia artist feels about cormorants. Supplied photo

OrilliaMatters received the following letter to the editor from Jimi McKee in response to “Cormorant hunting should be 'last resort,' says Orillia naturalist,” published Dec. 17:

I read the response from Bob Bowles about not too quickly activating a season on cormorants. I thought that I needed to respond.

Yes, they eat gobies, which is a good thing, but their population in our area is beyond belief.

They are incredible hunters. A pack of about 500 will start on the south side of Atherley in the summer and drive the schools of minnows across the bay with each of the leading birds aiming the school towards shore.

They would then fly to the back of the pack and leave the next barrage to keep herding the bait until they were surrounded in the shallows. I have seen this everywhere they go.

In the evening they fly by the thousands to the north, where they have decimated Ship Island (could be a better spelling), which looks like it came out of a horror story in black and white.

Big Chief Island is a stone’s throw from there and it is the most popular tourist and swimming area in the lake. Add to that over 32,000 people drink the water which is pumped out of the lake just over a mile from their resting place. I noticed that I have been growing feathers recently.

The current runs north in the spring, so the people in the cottages in Washago and Sparrow Lake get a side order of guano with their hors d'oeuvres.

I believe that Cumberland Beach draws its water across from that island, but I’m not sure of that. Hey, how about a side order of deep-fried cormorant? Yummers.

In computer jargon, the words control, alt, delete are appropriate.

Jimi McKee