The fish-eating sea birds on East Sand Island in the Columbia River estuary have been the target of management actions to reduce the number of double-crested cormorants and Caspian terns since the middle of the last decade.
An independent science panel has suggested the creation of a regional task force to be the focal point for efforts to battle the spread of northern pike when the voracious predator “inevitably” spreads in the Columbia River downstream from Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph dams.
To get a better idea of how much predation plays in steelhead populations, a couple of Nez Perce Tribe Fisheries biologists began looking for clues at a heron rookery on northeast Oregon’s Wallowa River.
Last month, the Columbia Basin Bulletin published an article about the recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed rule and draft environmental impact statement related to management of double-crested cormorants.
Caspian tern predation on steelhead smolts in the Columbia River has reduced the size of the juvenile migration by more than 20 percent each year also has reduced the number of adult steelhead that return to the river several years later.
The federal agency responsible for protecting sea birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act is instead proposing to “responsibly manage” double-crested cormorants across the nation by permitting lethal taking of birds that eat fish, such as salmon and steelhead smolts, by states and tribes.
Fisheries researchers estimated that over 2.5 million adult kokanee occupied Lake Pend Oreille in the fall of 2019. This is the highest count on record since the mid-1990’s. As summer heats up, reports are starting to roll in that anglers are reaping the benefits of a highly abundant kokanee population.
Idaho Fish and Game has contracted with a company to net lake trout in Stanley Lake during two-weeks in early June to reduce their population and reduce risk to endangered sockeye salmon populations. After the netting, sterile lake trout will be restocked in the summer and fall to continue to provide anglers a lake trout fishery at Stanley Lake.
Sea lions bit out a big chunk of the spring salmon and steelhead run in 2019, taking 3.3 percent of the fish passing Bonneville Dam, January through May.