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Baitfish farmers raise several different species of fish, often called minnows, to sell as live bait for anglers across the United States. Many baitfish farms are located in a major flyway used by migrating birds. Scaup depredation is highly variable and fluctuates annually and even from farm to farm based on weather patterns, prey availability, and other factors. Losses of baitfish to avian predators occur in spite of intensive efforts by baitfish farmers to scare birds from their farms. The combined economic effect of lost revenue from fish losses and the expense of scaring birds decreased overall profit margins by $251/acre to $300/acre.
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Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
July 8, 2019