Herald And News –
Construction of an island in the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the latest effort in a multi-year project to protect salmon and endangered fish species on the Columbia River by dispersing growing populations of Caspian terns.
Large trucks may have been seen moving dirt in the Merrill area recently to build a new earthen island within the Lower Klamath Refuge to act as nesting grounds for Caspian terns, a large gull-like species that hunts fish and have decimated salmon smolt populations.
The construction effort to build an access road and earthen island is ahead of schedule, with the causeway to be removed once the island is completed. The project replaces a three-quarter acre floating island that was made around eight years ago, and is now degrading. The original floating habitat island was comprised of scotch brite, eurothane and gravel, held together with cables, but the cables used were not galvanized and have since rusted, causing the floating island to fall apart.
During construction, the Willows Road portion of the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge has been temporarily closed as a matter of safety where heavy trucks and soft shoulders pose an accident risk if mixed with other traffic.