Rename Astoria's big bridge the Astoria Cormorant Rookery. It is a complete disgrace, and a failure of highway funding and public policy to allow these birds access for perching, roosting and nesting on the bridge.
Their numbers are staggering, and largely unseen from the shore. The bridge is a four-mile-long nesting site, with an occupancy rate to make local hoteliers envious.
Placing a bounty on cormorants would fund a solution to the problem, or, if cormorants are to remain protected, then a bridge toll could fund structural deterrents making nesting and roosting impossible. I propose a $5 toll to enter Oregon, but visitors could leave any time for free. This, naturally, would raise a hue and cry from Costco, Fred Meyer, Home Depot, Walmart and all the lesser gods in the American consumer pantheon.
Anything that can be done to reduce cormorant numbers would certainly help outgoing smolt survive their journey to the sea. We spend millions on hatcheries, yet somehow we seem helpless to nullify the explosion of fish predation by our feathered friends.
Another day, another catharsis, Mr. Editor. If I may, thanks for your attention to my frustrations. It's high summer, and my bunker mentality is in full flower.