What do double-crested cormorants eat?

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A. They eat fish. Adults eat an average of one pound per day, usually comprised of small (less than 6 inch) bottom dwelling or schooling "forage" fish. They are opportunistic and generalist feeders, preying on many species of fish, but concentrating on those that are easiest to catch. Because the ease with which a fish can be caught depends on a number of factors (distribution, relative abundance, behavior, etc.), the composition of a cormorant's diet can vary considerably from site to site and throughout the year. Q. Do double-crested cormorants eat brown and lake trout, steelhead, and salmon? A. Yes, particularly when they are small. Recently stocked schools of hatchery fish of these species are most at risk. Cormorants are attracted to these fish, as are large predatory sport fish. After these stocked fish disperse in the lake, they are much less likely to be eaten by a cormorant. In fact, fish species valued by sport and commercial anglers make up a very small proportion of the ... more
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