Warm sea temperatures sent more of the California giants to Astoria, Oregon, to feed on salmon—and bark at high volume—leading biologists to petition for legal authority to euthanize the biggest eaters.
The black, yellow-billed double-crested cormorants on East Sand Island at the Columbia River mouth ate so many fish this year that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began culling the population, killing thousands.
The bumpy, sharklike monsters grow more than 10 feet long and live up to a century on the bottom of the river, and only a few white sturgeon of a particular size can be kept by sport fishermen.
Despite being known as simply the American White, the birds make a signature three-color splash against the river—white body, black wings, and bright orange bill.
Also crowned with the name king salmon, Chinook swim upstream through fish ladders but can’t make it past big dams like the Grand Coulee.
Only about a thousand moose live in the state, but most hang out around Lake Roosevelt and are a smaller subspecies, meaning they’re only about six feet tall and weigh half a ton.