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Hazing of birds in coastal estuaries intended to help protect migrating juvenile salmon and steelhead

 
April 1 , 2010

 

Tillamook, Ore.— Hazing of double-crested cormorants that eat juvenile salmon and steelhead on their migration to sea will begin the first week of April in the Nehalem and Tillamook estuaries.

Hazing of cormorants consists of disturbing the birds, scaring them without harming them, with swift-moving watercraft in an effort to protect vulnerable naturally-produced and hatchery juvenile salmonids during their peak out-migration in April and May. Hazing will be conducted by local organizations under the direction of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff.

Double-crested cormorants consume juvenile salmon during spring migration. Hazing efforts will focus in the Nehalem and Tillamook estuaries where there are concentrations of double-crested cormorants and a number of threatened and sensitive fish species, including coastal coho, chinook, steelhead and chum.

In addition to hazing efforts, ODFW and partners are engaged in research and monitoring of fish-eating birds in relation to their impact on vulnerable fish runs, looking for long-term solutions. However, management of avian predators on fish populations is complex and requires balancing the needs of competing species within the guidelines of federal laws that include the Endangered Species and the Migratory Bird Treaty acts.

The double-crested cormorant is a waterbird found near inland waterways as well as on the coast. They fish by swimming and diving and nest in trees, cliffs and on the ground on predator-free islands. Cormorants are protected by international treaty and federal law.

For more information, read the Avian Predation Backgrounder on ODFW’s website, www.dfw.state.or.us.

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Contact:

Michelle Schuiteman, ODFW Avian Predation coordinator, (503) 842-2741

Meg Kenagy, ODFW Conservation Strategy Communications coordinator, (503) 947-6021



 
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