Seagull Hazing Disrupts The Dallesby Keely Chalmers
KGW, June 15, 2010
THE DALLES, Ore. -- Residents of The Dalles are fed up with the hazing of seagulls happening near the dam. They say it's like living in a war-zone. Everyday their lives are rocked by constant explosions.
"They're like M-80s... you throw an M-80 out there and the whole neighborhood will look out the door," said Greg Gustafson, who lives near the dam. "I might go and open up a window to get a little breeze and boom... and then... boom," explained neighbor Scott Simmons.
Several weeks ago the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers starting hazing seagulls feeding on juvenile salmon near the dam. From both the shore and from a boat, they fire screaming and exploding bottle rockets to scare the birds away. But in addition to scaring the birds these residents say it's terrifying them.
Linda Lorenzen says since the hazing began her dog Mocha, who use to love to go outside, now hates it.
"She doesn't want to go outside and play... we go other places to do our walks... she shivers when she's outside... she's terrified," said Lorenzen.
Much like the hazing, the Corps does to keep the sea lions from gobbling up salmon near the Bonneville Dam, the Corps says the purpose of the seagull hazing is to ultimately protect the salmon.
"We do sympathize with these folks... but we are required to haze the gulls away from the migrating juvenile salmon," said Scott Clemans, a spokesperson for the Corps.
The Corps says it's been using the same tactics to haze the seagulls at The Dalles for the last 6 years. But residents say this year the blasts are louder than ever.
They just want a quieter fight. The Corps says next winter it plans to install special wires near the dam that will help deter the seagulls. It hopes by using those quieter deterrents it won't have to use as many noise-making ones
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