Hatchery workers are adapting their practices in order to counteract the appetites of cormorants. The birds are only active during the day, so hatchery workers with Clatsop County open the net pens at night, releasing millions of endangered salmon smolts into the river while cormorants sleep. They aim for a full moon combined with king tides to release the fish. The hope is that salmon will get a headstart from the outbound flows before the cormorants descend. It is backbreaking work. The nets weigh hundreds of pounds, the floating docks slippery, and work done in total darkness without headlamps. A single slip could send them plunging into 40-degree water.