Congressman Doc Hastings

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Hastings works to protect Northwest Fish from Predatory Birds

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Washington, Apr 27, 2012 | Erin Daly (202-225-5816) | comments

Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee passed legislation that includes language authored by Congressman Doc Hastings to direct federal agencies to act to protect Northwest salmon from predatory birds along the Columbia River. 


“Every year, Northwest residents pay nearly one billion dollars to protect endangered salmon only for them to be consumed by predatory birds,” said Hastings, “Instead of limiting how many docks can be constructed on the Columbia River, federal agencies should be making it a priority to take immediate action to address the direct and significant threat of predatory birds to these endangered fish.”    


A report released last Fall by Oregon State University and the U.S. Geological Survey concluded that Caspian Terns nesting at Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir, as well as other predatory birds in the region including cormorants and gulls, consume as much as 15 percent of migrating endangered upper Columbia River steelhead smolts.  The Corps of Engineers has advised Hastings that it is preparing two separate reports relating to Northwest fish-eating birds with recommendations to address this expanding problem, but has yet to take any specific action to eliminate this threat.


Hastings’ language included in the report authorizes the Army Corps of Engineers to expedite any appropriate actions, including lethal removal, to address the significant threat of these predatory birds. 



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