Minnesota congressmen John Kline and Collin Peterson are co-sponsoring a bill that would allow states to manage their cormorant populations, amid concerns about the fish-eating sea birds are destroying property, depleting natural resources and consuming too much fish.
Kline says thousands of his constituents, especially in Carver County, have concerns about the noise and odor coming from lakes and islands overpopulated with cormorants.
Kline, a Republican, and Peterson, a Democrat, will testify Thursday in a House Natural Resources Committee hearing in support of Kline's "Cormorant Management and Natural Resources Protection Act."
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for managing the cormorant population, but Kline has raised concerns about the system's responsiveness. His proposed legislation would give states more flexibility in dealing with cormorants, but still require officials to submit their plans to the U.S. Department of Interior.
"This bipartisan legislation empowers states to better control the overpopulation of cormorant, mitigating their destruction on property and fish populations," Kline said in a statement. "As an avid fisherman and outdoorsman, this legislation simply makes sense."