Frequently Asked Questions

Private Fishing Ponds

What if cormorants are eating my fish?

Cormorants are dark-colored, long-necked diving birds. They may be a bigger problem than wading birds, because they can dive down to 25 feet in pursuit of fish. Like egrets and herons, the cormorant is a migratory bird protected by federal law. However, a 2003 law allows states to establish rules for control of nuisance cormorants.

Private landowners in Texas may apply for a Nuisance Double-crested Cormorant Control Permit from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. For information on this program, call 512/389-4585.

Fish farms and aquaculture facilities are not eligible for the state-issued permit. They may apply for a federal depredation permit from the US Fish & Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Office, 505/248-7882.