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National Wildlife Control Training Program vol. 1.

Management of Damage by Aquatic Birds

Great Blue Herons. Photo by NebraskaLand Magazine

Scientific Name: varies as there are a number of birds under this category.

Photo at right: Great Blue Herons
Description: Feed commonly at aquaculture sites by standing and piercing fish.
Photo Credits: NEBRASKALAND Magazine/Nebraska Game and Parks Comm. photo



  • Diurnal birds
    • pelicans
  • Nocturnal birds
    • herons


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  • feathers and whitewash near edge of water.
  • fish with wounds or old scars or bit in two.

Damage by Aquatic Birds

White pelicans eat pond reared fish. Photo by NebraskaLand Magazine

White Pelicans (Photo Credits: NEBRASKALAND Magazine/Nebraska Game and Parks Comm.) and other large fish-eaters kill or scar trout, salmon, and other flume and pond reared fish.


  • Bird Flu



The information and links contained herein are  dedicated to providing information on the biology and control of various species. Before initiating any  control measures, be sure to check with appropriate government agencies as well as become familiar with control information found elsewhere on the site. If you have any questions, please contact a qualified wildlife professional prior to initiating any control.

Habitat Modification:

  • Exclusion: Overhead nets or closely spaced monofilament lines or complete exclusion is suitable for some facilities. Note, however, that egrets and herons wade in from shore while others fly onto water. Pelicans, cormorants, mergansers, and others feed while floating. Kingfishers dive into water from overhead perches.



Use of a variety of scare tactics and repellents at times when the pest species is active. Details can be found at Hazing

Traps: None


  • Under the proper permits and conditions, shooting can be effective. Occasionally, kill permits are issued by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. To learn more and to obtain a permit, click Permit

Toxicants: None known.


Legal Issues:

Aquatic birds are protected under the North American Migratory Bird Act. Any action that could harm the birds requires a federal permit.

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