One more obstacle preventing a cormorant hunt was addressed on November 7 when the provincial government updated the Environmental Registry of Ontario (ERO) proposal regarding the hunt.
The update noted that the “proposed amendments to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (FWCA), 1997, received First Reading On November 6, 2019 in the Ontario Legislature.”
Those amendments as listed in ERO post – 013-4124 would add provisions to the FWCA so hunters could allow cormorants to spoil.
The update says that “If the proposed legislative amendments are passed by the legislature, the ministry would have to advance regulatory amendments before a double-crested cormorant hunting season could be created.”
If passed the proposal would:
- List the double-crested cormorant as a game bird.
- Require hunters to have an outdoors card and small game licence to hunt them.
- Create an open hunting season for double-crested cormorant from March 15 to December 31 each year across the province.
- Create an exemption allowing small game licences to be valid for double-crested cormorant hunting in central and northern Ontario from June 16 to August 31 each year.
- Establish a bag limit of 50 cormorants per day with no possession limit.
- Prescribe shotgun and shot size/type requirements consistent with migratory bird hunting regulations outlined in the federal Migratory Birds Regulations.
- Allow hunting from a stationary motorboat.
Should the hunt be approved, the MNRF will also monitor and assess cormorant populations and trends to assess the impact of hunting seasons and to address concerns of population sustainability.