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DNR to cut cormorant population on Lake Vermilion

TOWER, Minn. (AP) — Fisheries officials plan to kill part of the cormorant population on Lake Vermilion in northeastern Minnesota because the lake's perch population has been falling, and they're worried that the decline could eventually harm the lake's walleye numbers.

The Department of Natural Resources says the action follows several years of surveys that show depressed populations of perch, the lake's primary forage fish for walleye.

Don Pereira, the DNR's fisheries policy and research manager, says they believe the lake's growing cormorant population is the reason.

The DNR's plan calls for culling 10 percent of Lake Vermilion's adult birds and putting oil on the eggs of all nesting pairs, which prevents the eggs from hatching.

The DNR says future cormorant control efforts will depend on how the lake's perch population responds.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.