News Releases

Corps releases Columbia River Salmonid Predation Final Environmental Impact Statement

Published Feb. 6, 2015
Double-crested cormorants nest on East Sand Island in the Columbia River. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers developed a management plan and EIS to comply with the NOAA Fisheries' Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinion.

Double-crested cormorants nest on East Sand Island in the Columbia River. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers developed a management plan and EIS to comply with the NOAA Fisheries' Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinion.

PORTLAND, ORE. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today released the final Environmental Impact Statement to reduce predation on juvenile salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act by a large population of double-crested cormorants in the Columbia River estuary.

Many juvenile salmon and steelhead are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The Corps is required to develop and implement a management plan to reduce avian predation based on its consultation under the Endangered Species Act with NOAA Fisheries for the operation of the hydropower dams that make up the Federal Columbia River Power System.

The final EIS and executive summary can be found on the Corps’ webpage at http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Current/CormorantEIS.aspx.

“The Corps and the cooperating agencies on this effort evaluated complex issues to identify a plan with the greatest likelihood of reducing predation on ESA-listed fish,” Col Jose Aguilar, Portland District Commander, said. “Based on the analysis and research undertaken for the EIS, we believe the preferred alternative advances our efforts to reduce predation and satisfy the requirements of the 2014 supplemental Biological Opinion released by NOAA Fisheries.”

The final EIS details a range of management alternatives evaluated to address the predation, including both non-lethal and lethal management approaches.

The Corps’ Portland District is the federal land manager of East Sand Island and the lead agency for the National Environmental Policy Act process. The agency is working with its cooperating agencies: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture – Animal Plant Health Inspection Service – Wildlife Services, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement will be available for public review for 30 days after publication of the notice of availability in the Federal Register by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This period is anticipated to begin Feb. 13, 2015 and end March 16, 2015. Written comments may be sent electronically or by traditional mail to: 

Robert Winters
U.S. Army Corps of Engineer District, Portland
Attn: CENWP-PM-E-14-08 / Double-crested Cormorant Final EIS
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, OR 97208-2946
Send electronic comments to cormorant-eis@usace.army.mil

Contact
Diana Fredlund
503-808-4510
diana.j.fredlund@usace.army.mil

Release no. 15-004

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