Where Are The Young Salmon Going?

Published online: Jul 09, 2004
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Just as environmentalists have blocked the use of crop-protection chemicals along waterways of the Pacific Northwest to protect salmon, an interesting report has emerged.

The Chelan County Public Utility District, in upper central Washington, funded a study to see what was happening to salmon along a 62-mile stretch of the Columbia River.

They found that Merganser ducks eat more young salmon than any other bird, including California gulls or Caspian terns.

The findings surprised fish and game experts who never suspected the impact the ducks were having on salmon.

According to preliminary findings published in the Seattle Times, ducks were responsible for 60 percent of the salmon consumption while gulls were a distant second at 25 percent.

In a Wheatworld report, the EPA's effort to come into compliance with the Endangered Species Act have caused growers in Washington, Oregon and California to cut crop-protection use near waterways.

The restrictions have affected the abilities of Americans farmers to provide safe, affordable, abundant food and fiber and have cost taxpayers millions as EPA defends itself against a process that does nothing to improve protection of endangered species--salmon.

The USDA estimates that the current pesticide restrictions will result in $583 million in crop losses annually in Oregon and Washington alone. Similar lawsuits could threatend ag operations in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.