Are cormorants eating the salmon? ODFW will kill some to find out

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has started killing sea birds to see if they are eating protected salmon.

Department spokesman Rick Swart said Monday that up to 150 cormorants will be killed on the Oregon Coast so biologists can look inside their stomachs to see what they are eating.

It's the latest case of killing a predator to protect a threatened or endangered species.

The department asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last year for a permit to reduce the numbers of cormorants because they eat baby salmon and steelhead migrating to the ocean.

The federal agency asked for information to back up the request, and granted a research permit allowing the department to shoot 50 cormorants each on the Rogue, Umpqua and Tillamook estuaries.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.