Type size - +
Personal tools
You are here: Home Pressroom Press Clips Controversial plan would kill cormorants to save salmon

Controversial plan would kill cormorants to save salmon

By Pat Dooris, KGW Staff
KGW

ASTORIA, Ore. -- The Army Corps of Engineers plans to kill as many as 11,000 Double Crested Cormorants on East Sand Island at the mouth of the Columbia River.

Controversial plan would kill cormorants to save salmon

(Photo: KGW)

ASTORIA, Ore. -- The Army Corps of Engineers plans to kill as many as 11,000 Double Crested Cormorants on East Sand Island at the mouth of the Columbia River.

The Corps will use shotguns, rifles, nets and oil poured onto eggs to keep them from hatching.

Their population boomed from 100 mating pairs in 1989 to 15,000 in 2014.

The problem is that the birds eat juvenile salmon swimming past the island on their way to the Pacific Ocean. The Corps estimates the birds eat 11 million small salmon each year.

Since the Corps is charged with protecting endangered salmon, something needed to be done.

Project Manager Robert Winters said killing the birds is a difficult but necessary decision.

"I don't think there are any winners in this scenario," he said. "I mean, we need to improve the survival of the juvenile salmon while maintaining the sustainable populations of cormorants."

But the Audubon Society of Portland and others disagree.

"We think it's unfortunate that thousands of native birds are slaughtered in the name of conserving another species," said lawyer Dan Rholf.

He said the Audubon will sue to block the killing. The group believes flushing more water from the Army Corps dams would solve the problem and will make that point in federal court.

"We think looking at our own actions like improving dam operations which better protect salmon are the things we should look to first before we slaughter thousands of birds," said Rholf.

Read the original story
Document Actions
powered by Plone | site by Groundwire Consulting and served with clean energy