The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department received a federal permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to begin spraying oil on Young Island’s cormorant eggs to help curb the bird’s exploding population on Lake Champlain.
There are almost 2000 nests on Young Island in Grand Isle and the department has already oiled 650 of those nests.
Although the department did not get permission to kill any birds, the plan is to continue oiling the eggs in hopes that this will begin to control the population. The permit also allows the department to oil eggs on Rock and Mud islands in Panton.
The cormorant is protected by the migratory Bird Treaty act, which makes it illegal to kill or harass them without a federal permit.
However, Lake Champlain anglers have complained about the diving birds increased numbers and their impact on fishing. The birds have defoliated Young Island with their copious, acidic feces.
The permit is issued annually, which will allow for modifications if needed.