Steelhead and Caspian terns in the USA

This is a video of a Caspian tern in Huizen in the Netherlands.

From Oregon State University in the USA:

Project succeeding to relocate Caspian terns

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A major initiative to create alternative nesting sites for the largest colony of Caspian terns in the world – and to help protect juvenile salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River – is finding early success.

A recent survey of a new nesting site at Crump Lake in southern Oregon, which was just constructed in February by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, found more than 135 nesting pairs of Caspian terns, as well as more than a thousand pairs of gulls and two nesting pairs of double-crested cormorants.

Redistributing the terns is critical because research by Oregon State University scientists found that terns and cormorants annually consume more than 10 million juvenile salmon and steelhead migrating through the Columbia River estuary en route to the Pacific Ocean. OSU researchers helped lure the Caspian terns to Crump Lake, which is northeast of Lakeview, with decoys and recorded sounds of nesting terns that they had recorded in the Columbia estuary.

“It is amazing that more than 520 Caspian terns have found the new island, which was only constructed five months ago – and that some have decided to nest there,” said Dan Roby, an OSU professor of fisheries and wildlife and principal investigator in the study. “There is a history of nesting at Crump Lake and clearly the birds have some kind of ‘populational’ memory of the place. That is a real key to the success.”

The joint effort between the Corps, OSU, Real Time Research, Inc., and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit is being funded by a $2.1 million grant to OSU from the Corps and Bonneville Power Administration.

The Corps’ avian predation program aims to reduce the number of young salmon consumed by terns in the estuary and “substantially improve the survival of fish listed as threatened or endangered” under the Endangered Species Act, said Geoff Dorsey, a wildlife biologist with the Corps’ Portland District.

The initiative seeks to redistribute a portion of what researchers say is the largest Caspian tern colony in the world. Last year, OSU researchers counted 9,900 pairs of nesting terns on East Sand Island near the mouth of the Columbia River – which accounts for an estimated 70 percent of all Caspian terns nesting in the Pacific Coast region from Alaska to Baja California.

Steelhead: here.

In order to protect young salmon and steelhead trout in the Columbia River, US federal officials have come up with a proposal to cull around 11,000 Double-crested Cormorants that feed off them, reports the online National Monitor: here.

Pacific humpback salmon recorded in England: here.

Double-crested Cormorant with Florida Gar, Anhinga Trail, Everglades, photo here.

4 thoughts on “Steelhead and Caspian terns in the USA

  1. Plastics help protect Shetland birds 16/06/2008
    By Katie Coyne

    Recycled boardwalk to protect delicate Scottish habitat for rare birds.

    16 June 2008 – Recycled plastics are being used to help protect a threatened habitat and home to rare breeding birds at a nature reserve in Scotland.

    Hermaness National Nature Reserve on Unst, Shetland – the most northerly part of the British Isles – is home to thousands of birds.

    These include bonxies (sometimes known as great skuas), red throated divers, snipe, dunlin, golden plover and arctic skua.

    But as visitor numbers grow the paths across the blanket bog, which is a threatened habitat and has a delicate surface, are being eroded and widened.

    Scottish Natural Heritage appointed Upland Contracts – who have been working with Fusion Marine – to build a walkway across the reserve to protect the habitat.

    Boyd Henderson off Upland Contracts said: “This contract has been an excellent example of how a supplier’s ongoing input into a project can greatly increase the efficiency of site work and the end product.
    “To that end Fusion Marine and Upland Contracts shall continue to work closely together on this project through to completion.”

    An example of a Fusion Marine recycled plastic walkway

    Making the boardwalk out of recycled plastic has been described as a “highly sustainable solution” for the project for several reasons.

    The walkway can be put together off-site, which minimises disturbance and damage to the habitat and the ph of the bog also won’t be affected by the recycled plastic.

    Fixings used are stainless steel and the project will use around 5,000 decking boards and 1,500 rails for the walkways (that will look similar to that shown here).


  2. Sea lion removal no relief for fish, corps study says

    Program of trapping predators will continue during spring 2010

    Friday, November 6 | 9:07 p.m.


    A sea lion eats a salmon in the Columbia River near the Bonneville Dam in North Bonneville in April 2008. (Files/The Associated Press)

    Killing or removing 25 California sea lions over the past two years has not reduced the toll on salmon at the base of the Bonneville Dam in the Columbia River.

    A new report from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that sea lions ate 4,960 salmon and steelhead during the spring of 2009 — 2.4 percent of the fish passing the dam located near Cascade Locks, Ore. That compares to an adjusted estimate of 4,927, or 2.9 percent of the run, in 2008.

    And while the number of California sea lions was down — 54 this year compared to 82 in 2008 — the average number of salmon eaten by each one was up, along with the number of Stellar sea lions — 26 this year compared to 17 last year.

    Sharon Young of the Humane Society of the United States said the numbers show that trying to restore salmon by killing predators does not work at a place like Bonneville Dam.

    “You have to address the root issues causing problems for the salmon,” such as the dams, fishing, habitat loss and irrigation withdrawals, she said. “Obviously, if predation were the primary issue in the recovery of salmon, we wouldn’t be seeing the run size fluctuating like this. The run size fluctuates due to oceanic variables.”

    The report showed spring runs steadily increasing from 88,474 in 2007 to 186,060 in 2009, while the numbers of salmon eaten by sea lions stayed about the same — 4,335 in 2007 when no sea lions were removed and 4,960 this year after 25 were trapped and killed or sent to aquariums.

    A companion report from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife estimates that removing the individual sea lions doing the most damage saved some 1,655 salmon.

    Department spokesman Rick Hargrave said the hazing and removal of California sea lions will continue next year with few changes. One difference will be trying to block areas near the dam where the sea lions can get out of the water to rest.

    California sea lions are normally protected by federal law. But since some have discovered that salmon — including threatened and endangered species — are easy pickings at the dam, NOAA Fisheries Service has given authority to the states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho to kill up to 85 a year. This was the first year sea lions were killed as well as trapped and sent to aquariums.

    The Army Corps report also found that a few sea lions were hanging around the dam in the fall for the first time, raising concerns they could start feeding on fall and winter salmon runs. It also found the numbers of white sturgeon eaten, particularly by the Steller sea lions, continued to increase, hitting an estimated 1,710 this year.


  3. Pingback: Caspian terns in Oregon, USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: How steelhead trout build their nests | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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