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Posted 4/25/2013

Release no. 13-020


PORTLAND, ORE. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers seeks comments on a draft Environmental Assessment for adaptively managing predation on Caspian terns in the Lower Columbia River Estuary.

For the last three nesting seasons (2010-2012) productivity for the tern colony on East Sand Island has been at an all time low. In 2011 the colony did not produce a single fledgling.

The loss of productivity is attributed primarily to glaucous-winged/western gulls, a hybrid species that also lives on the island, consuming the eggs and chicks of Caspian terns after bald eagles flushed adults from their nests.

Resource managers are concerned the terns may abandon the colony and seek new habitat for nesting on nearby islands (Rice Island and Miller Sands Spit) in the lower Columbia River Estuary where consumption of juvenile salmon would be greater. The Corps is considering actions in the draft EA to reduce that predation from happening.

The draft EA is available for public review and comment under the “Announcements” tab at http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil.

Questions or comments regarding the draft EA should be directed to Elisa Carlsen, Environmental Resources Branch via email at Elisa.Carlsen@usace.army.mil, or mailed to the address below. Mailed comments regarding this notice must be postmarked by May 4, 2013 and sent to:

District Engineer
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District
Attn:  CENWP-PM-E/Elisa Carlsen
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, Oregon  97208-2946

Responses should refer to the public notice number CENWP-PM-E-04-24-2013, and include the public notice title and date.

Caspian terns Columbia River predation salmon