Washington state to continue thinning cormorant population to help protect salmon

LONGVIEW, Wash. — The U.S. Army of Corps of Engineers say it will continue to kill cormorant sea birds known to heavily reduce the Columbia River’s salmon population for a third year.

The Daily News reports the Corps expects to kill about 2,400 birds and spray about 4,000 nests with vegetable oil, which will prevent the eggs from hatching. The operation started Tuesday.

The goal is to reduce the number of bird breeding pairs. Corps spokeswoman Michelle Helms-Raper says they expect to spend about $1 million on this year’s operation.

Corps officials say the birds eat up to 11 million juvenile salmon annually.

Last year, the Corps killed about 3,000 birds and reached 1,100 nests. The Corps says it will continue hunting cormorants next year.

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