Monday, February 6th, 2023
Monday, February 6th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Complicated seabird problem at mouth of Columbia River

No matter how hard man tries, it’s predictably difficult to
control natural outcomes. Wild animals are opportunistic and strive
to survive. Here’s what happened when wildlife officials tried to
reign in fish-eating terns… 

EAST SAND ISLAND, Wash. (AP) – An attempt by
government wildlife experts to control seabirds at the mouth of the
Columbia River has led to some unintended consequences.

The Seattle Times reports ( it started in the 1980s
when dredge spoils created an island 14 miles upriver that turned
into a haven for Caspian terns. By the mid-1990s the terns were
eating millions of young salmon. so a new island, called East Sand
Island, was created closer to the mouth of the Columbia.

Experts hoped the terns would eat more herring and sardines,
instead of salmon. But East Sand Island is now a haven for
cormorants who are eating more salmon than the terns ever did.

And, this year, eagles and other predators scared terns off
their nests and seagulls ate all their eggs.


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