Cormorants are making a meal of River Calder salmon

Cormorants are making a meal of River Calder salmon

Cormorants are making a meal of River Calder salmon

First published in News by , Reporter

CORMORANTS are decimating the endangered Atlantic salmon population in the River Calder, anglers have claimed.

The birds are also damaging the profitable angling industry in Cliviger and the wider area.

Their move inland is believed to have been precipitated by the lack of food found in the Irish sea because of overfishing.

Sand eels, a common name for a number of fish species, are a source of food for many sea predators, but are being used by humans for fertiliser driving many birds and larger fish to find food inland.

Fred Higham, chairman of Ribblesdale Angling Association, said: “They are doing a tremendous amount of damage.”

The River Ribble and the Calder tributary are one of the only places in the country where Atlantic salmon will breed.

One cormorant can eat four full grown Atlantic salmon, sea trout and brown trout a day.

Mr Higham said: “The revenue is down year on year since the cormorants have moved inland and anglers are very concerned not only about the loss of revenue but the loss to the local economy and wildlife.”

Experts have said the number of the birds feeding on rivers across the country has multiplied since the 1980s.

Mr Higham said: “I’ve been a keen angler in the area for more than 60 years and I have never seen so many of the birds.

“You didn’t see them on rivers 20 or 30 years ago.”

Ribblesdale and Clitheroe’s angling associations were granted licences for each club to cull four cormorants a year in 2012, which has been renewed for 2013.

Mr Higham said: “I’m a bird lover, but we have to control predators.”

Super underwater swimmers

  • Cormorants are members of    the pelican family, with all four toes on each foot webbed, which helps them in swimming and chasing fish underwater.
  • They live in coastal areas around Great Britain and
  • Europe, Africa, Asia, eastern North America and Australia, but are often seen inland around lakes and rivers.
  • They are usually around 90cm in length, have a fairly long-neck and are browny-black above, bluish-black below. They also have white patches on their chins and sides of face.
  • They mainly eat fish and some molluscs and crustaceans.
  • Cormorants nest in colonies, sometimes numbering thousands, on rocky cliffs, rocky islets or sometimes by rivers and lakes, even in trees.
  • They are often seen perched with their wings outstretched. This is thought to allow them to dry their large wings quickly.

Comments (15)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

2:48pm Mon 19 Nov 12

tealeaf56 says...

Are these Polski Cormorants?
Are these Polski Cormorants? tealeaf56
  • Score: 2

2:53pm Mon 19 Nov 12

bikerjohn_uk says...

"One cormorant can eat four full grown Atlantic salmon, sea trout and brown trout a day."

Eh? Methinks Mr. Higham is having a giraffe. Either that or he's getting his cormorants mixed up with grizzly bears. It's true that they are becoming more common further inland (I've seen them at Hurstwood on the reservoir), but four full grown salmon a day? Sounds a bit fishy to me...
"One cormorant can eat four full grown Atlantic salmon, sea trout and brown trout a day." Eh? Methinks Mr. Higham is having a giraffe. Either that or he's getting his cormorants mixed up with grizzly bears. It's true that they are becoming more common further inland (I've seen them at Hurstwood on the reservoir), but four full grown salmon a day? Sounds a bit fishy to me... bikerjohn_uk
  • Score: 2

3:08pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Interocitor says...

Yep, sounds like the same horseshit you get when anyone from the hunting and fishing brigade is demanding a cull.
Yep, sounds like the same horseshit you get when anyone from the hunting and fishing brigade is demanding a cull. Interocitor
  • Score: 1

7:08pm Mon 19 Nov 12

chris283 says...

these birds are a menace they should be culled as a angler i know the damage they can do
these birds are a menace they should be culled as a angler i know the damage they can do chris283
  • Score: -2

8:00pm Mon 19 Nov 12

A Darener says...

Leave the birds alone they have as much right to food as anybody else.
Leave the birds alone they have as much right to food as anybody else. A Darener
  • Score: 2

9:25pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Burnley_resident1 says...

I have seen cormorants on the river Calder at Altham every winter for the last 10 years. Nothing new, like the Grey Herons on there they eat fish, it's called nature & is great to see.
I have seen cormorants on the river Calder at Altham every winter for the last 10 years. Nothing new, like the Grey Herons on there they eat fish, it's called nature & is great to see. Burnley_resident1
  • Score: 3

9:34pm Mon 19 Nov 12

A Darener says...

"On average, an adult cormorant requires around 400g – 500g (about one pound) of food each day although the weight of fish eaten on any particular day can vary considerably."
Not exactly in extinction mode.
"On average, an adult cormorant requires around 400g – 500g (about one pound) of food each day although the weight of fish eaten on any particular day can vary considerably." Not exactly in extinction mode. A Darener
  • Score: 0

10:33pm Mon 19 Nov 12

halfhearted says...

chris283 wrote:
these birds are a menace they should be culled as a angler i know the damage they can do
What about the damage to wildlife you and your fellow anglers have caused over the years ?
If anything requires culling its you and like minded people. You fish for sport,these birds fish to live.
[quote][p][bold]chris283[/bold] wrote: these birds are a menace they should be culled as a angler i know the damage they can do[/p][/quote]What about the damage to wildlife you and your fellow anglers have caused over the years ? If anything requires culling its you and like minded people. You fish for sport,these birds fish to live. halfhearted
  • Score: 2

10:33pm Mon 19 Nov 12

halfhearted says...

chris283 wrote:
these birds are a menace they should be culled as a angler i know the damage they can do
What about the damage to wildlife you and your fellow anglers have caused over the years ?
If anything requires culling its you and like minded people. You fish for sport,these birds fish to live.
[quote][p][bold]chris283[/bold] wrote: these birds are a menace they should be culled as a angler i know the damage they can do[/p][/quote]What about the damage to wildlife you and your fellow anglers have caused over the years ? If anything requires culling its you and like minded people. You fish for sport,these birds fish to live. halfhearted
  • Score: 3

5:44am Tue 20 Nov 12

2 for 5p says...

chris283 wrote:
these birds are a menace they should be culled as a angler i know the damage they can do
What's it like to have the worlds most boring hobby.
[quote][p][bold]chris283[/bold] wrote: these birds are a menace they should be culled as a angler i know the damage they can do[/p][/quote]What's it like to have the worlds most boring hobby. 2 for 5p
  • Score: 3

7:35am Tue 20 Nov 12

Bob Bobbins says...

So, because man has overfished most of the cormorants' usual food sources, the cormorant now has to find other sources.
And now man is kicking off again? How about not overfishing and not interfering with the natural world. This is no excuse to cull cormorants. If man didn't create the problem in the first place, then this wouldn't be happening.
So, because man has overfished most of the cormorants' usual food sources, the cormorant now has to find other sources. And now man is kicking off again? How about not overfishing and not interfering with the natural world. This is no excuse to cull cormorants. If man didn't create the problem in the first place, then this wouldn't be happening. Bob Bobbins
  • Score: 1

8:21am Tue 20 Nov 12

bikerjohn_uk says...

2 for 5p wrote:
chris283 wrote:
these birds are a menace they should be culled as a angler i know the damage they can do
What's it like to have the worlds most boring hobby.
Worm drowners and fluff chuckers. Great.
[quote][p][bold]2 for 5p[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]chris283[/bold] wrote: these birds are a menace they should be culled as a angler i know the damage they can do[/p][/quote]What's it like to have the worlds most boring hobby.[/p][/quote]Worm drowners and fluff chuckers. Great. bikerjohn_uk
  • Score: 0

9:14am Tue 20 Nov 12

UKCougar says...

So, the complaint is that birds are killing fish for food, preventing anglers killing them for sport? You've thought about this.
So, the complaint is that birds are killing fish for food, preventing anglers killing them for sport? You've thought about this. UKCougar
  • Score: 1

10:06am Tue 20 Nov 12

peregrine.soars says...

Bird lover, how many birds are killed by the miles of fishing line discarded or over the years. How many birds have died by eating the tons of lead shot scattered in the rivers and shores. Cormorants have every right to feed and live wherever they want. People move around to new locations so what's wrong with the cormorant moving and living on the rivers.
The other predators need to leave them alone. The so called countryside folk just want to kill because its what they do and think they are elite and special.
Bird lover, how many birds are killed by the miles of fishing line discarded or over the years. How many birds have died by eating the tons of lead shot scattered in the rivers and shores. Cormorants have every right to feed and live wherever they want. People move around to new locations so what's wrong with the cormorant moving and living on the rivers. The other predators need to leave them alone. The so called countryside folk just want to kill because its what they do and think they are elite and special. peregrine.soars
  • Score: 1

11:17am Tue 20 Nov 12

Kermit The Frog says...

Am I reading this correctly?

Anglers are complaining that hungry birds are eating their fish supplies and preventing from continuing their 'sport'??

What a **** up world we live in - how about the anglers let nature happen and let the birds eat the fish instead of trying to catch them?

Unbelievable arrogance from the anglers.
Am I reading this correctly? Anglers are complaining that hungry birds are eating their fish supplies and preventing from continuing their 'sport'?? What a **** up world we live in - how about the anglers let nature happen and let the birds eat the fish instead of trying to catch them? Unbelievable arrogance from the anglers. Kermit The Frog
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree