Extent And Severity Of Avian Predation At Federal Fish Hatcheries In The United States

A survey of Federal fish hatcheries in the United States was conducted to determine the extent and severity of avian predation on fish stocks as well as to determine which avian species were the most serious predators. A list of 58 bird species in 14 families was provided. Managers of hatcheries were asked to indicate which species or members of what family caused problems by predation in their hatcheries. They were asked to provide their estimate of the severity of the problem; i.e. severe, significant, trivial, or none. They were also asked which fish species were preyed upon and also to identify any bird predators not on the list provided. The survey elicited a 66% response from 121 managers. Of the 58 species on the survey form, 28 species in 9 families were mentioned by managers as predators visiting fish hatcheries. Additionally, 8 species from 6 other families or subfamilies were added by managers as being pests at hatcheries. Eighteen species in 8 families were mentioned as causing "severe" damage to fish stocks.

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