They are killing sea lions in the name of salmon management in Oregon and Washington, and now Oregon wants to add cormorants to their most wanted list.
Cormorants are migratory birds that are veracious fish eaters, and their populations are booming in Oregon. According to the Seattle Times there are more than 27,000 birds at the mouth of the Columbia River, and they are eating 22.6 million young salmon a year, and Oregon Wildlife Chief Ron Anglin believes that is enough to get a nuisance permit to start shooting cormorants.
“Whether it’s logging, gravel removal or the fact we’ve had estuaries constrained through dikes and road systems and everything else, they are not naturally functioning systems anymore,” Anglin said in an interview. “Under that kind of system, it doesn’t take much of a stressor that could have a significant impact.”
Cormorant numbers continue to grow, and Oregon is taking the measures to curb their impact on the salmon. The are currently preparing an application to shoot enough cormorants on the Rogue, Umpqua and Tillamook estuaries to reduce nesting colonies there by 10 percent.
I’m sure the bird activists will be heard on this issue. And the Salmon Wars rage on. –Brian McClintock