Monday, February 05, 2007
Gulls Gone Wild
It seems a rogue band of Seagulls is wreaking havoc on efforts to restore steelhead and salmon in California. Scientist know this from a thorough examination of gull crap.
Morris traced the chip to Morgan Bond and Sean Hayes of the Salmon Ecology Team at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fisheries lab in Santa Cruz. They had been planting the chips in hatchery-raised salmon to track their progress from creeks to the open ocean. The salmon team went to the island and recovered about 60 tags, some as recently as last week. "Our suspicion is that it's sea gulls doing more of the eating," said Bond.
Of course further study will be necessary to determine how the trout tags got into the gull crap.
Hayes and Bond now hope to raise money to study whether gulls in fact are eating the salmon and steelhead before they leave creeks.
I suggest a simpler perhaps less costly approach, although it is probably not very politically correct: Gull Season!