"Conservation groups are accusing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of withholding research showing a federal plan to kill seabirds on the Columbia River would not actually benefit salmon and steelhead.
Earlier this year, the agency approved a controversial plan to shoot around 11,000 double-crested cormorants to protect threatened and endangered fish. Studies show the birds eat up to 20 percent of young salmon and steelhead as they swim down the river to the ocean.
But documents distributed Wednesday to news media show the agency’s own analysis concluded those fish would die in the ocean anyway before they returned to the river to spawn as adults. Thus, the analysis found, killing cormorants would have no effect on the overall survival of protected fish."
Cassandra Profita reports for Oregon Public Broadcasting/EarthFix August 12, 2015.