by David Johnson
There is one more opportunity to let our voices be herd to help our fisheries.
There are thousands of Cormorants nesting on a manmade island, East Sand Island, at the mouth of the Columbia and they are eating us out of house and home.
"Over the last decade, a large colony nesting on East Sand Island near the mouth of the Columbia River has consumed approximately 11 million juvenile salmonids per year. In recent years (2011-2013) consumption has averaged 18.5 million per year. "
(Corps of Engineers Photo)
That is a lot of fish and a lot of money, our money.
For once the Army Corps is willing to help us out, or at least work on righting what they have done, building Sand Island. They are planning on killing 16,000 birds.
But of course there is opposition. The Audubon Society is up in arms and will be protesting this. And like other inviro groups they will probably start a law suit over this.
It's all feel good though, there is no reason not to thin them out.
I see these birds as if they were a pest feeding on our crops. They are not endangered, they are thriving on a manmade island and they are increasing at an alarming rate. We can manage these birds. Their only protection came in 1972 under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, the same act that allows us to hunt ducks and geese.
There are two meetings to attend to let our voices be heard, I am going to make at least one of them:
July 10 from 2:30 - 5:30 p.m. at the Matt Dishman Community Center, 77 NE Knott Street,
Portland July 24th from 3 - 6 p.m. at the Best Western Lincoln Inn, 555 Hamburg Ave, Astoria
You can also send in your written comments my e-mail or snail mail.
The Corps has released its Draft Environmental Impact Statement on June 12, 2014. The 45-day public review and comment period begins June 19, 2014 and ends Aug. 4, 2014.
Comments may be made in writing, either electronically or by mail. You can submit comments on the draft EIS by email: Cormorant-EIS@usace.army.mil or by sending written comments to:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District
Attn: CENWP-PM-E / Double-crested cormorant draft EIS
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, OR 97208-2946
We are not the only ones battling these birds, I have talked with fishermen in Spain and Italy that are having problems with cormorants whipping out fish populations.
The Great Lakes are also dealing with them too.