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Cooperative Cormorant Management on Oneida Lake

Conservation Innovation Award

Award Recipients

With the initiation and success of the fall 2010 Oneida Lake Cooperative Cormorant Management Project (brief project description below), the following DEC staff were awarded the first Conservation Innovation Award:

DEC's Region 6 Office

  • James Farquhar - Wildlife Manager
  • Tyler Will - Seasonal Technician
  • Mike Smith - Seasonal Technician
  • ECO Lakerman
  • ECO Fonda
  • ECO Grisolini

DEC's Region 7 Office

  • Dave Lemon - Fisheries Manager
  • Scott Prindle - Aquatic Biologist
  • Ian Blackburn - Fisheries Technician
  • ECO Kevin Mazur
  • ECO Mark Colesante
  • ECO Anthony Panipinto

Summary of Accomplishments

After successfully managing overabundant cormorants for 11 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal Plant and Health Inspection Services (APHIS) lost necessary funding in 2010. In response, the innovative thinking of DEC staff listed above, in collaboration with concerned citizens, allowed for the continuation of a similar cormorant "hazing" program on Oneida Lake, wherein migrating birds were harassed to keep them moving along. This project demonstrated how staff in two regions and different divisions and bureaus, came together with cooperators to solve a resource management problem in the face of lost federal support.

Showing concern for the conservation of Oneida Lake's fishery, particularly walleye and perch populations, volunteers from the Oneida Lake Association (OLA), the New York B.A.S.S. Chapter Federation and others worked with DEC in training, planning goals and objectives, and completing hazing activities with the use of boat chases and pyrotechnics (fireworks). During a time of limited staffing and funding in DEC, the support and assistance from volunteers and organizations like OLA, B.A.S.S, River Rat Marina, Oneida Lake Marina, and the Cornell University Biological Field Station helped to move this project forward. Further details about this Oneida Lake Cormorant Hazing project can be found in the full summary report (pdf, 402kb).

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