The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has expanded the area where it is killing sea birds to see if they are eating young salmon. Documents show the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has allowed Oregon to expand a study started last year into how much salmon cormorants are eating from the Tillamook estuary into the Umpqua and Rogue estuaries.

The department can shoot 50 cormorants a year on each of the estuaries, through March 2015.

Under pressure from sport fishing groups, the department asked for permission to reduce the number of cormorants eating young salmon on the Oregon coast.

But the federal agency denied that request until the department gets hard data showing it would help the recovery of threatened coho salmon.

Northwest Lending Group