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I know there is another Sea Lion thread - but this is about a potential solution...at least something other than nothing. (that we have now)
If there was ever a bill that needed to be passed...I think this is the one!


Jaime Herrera Beutler Introduces Bill to Protect Endangered Salmon and Steelhead on the Columbia River

Historic recovery efforts of salmon and steelhead compromised by increasing sea lion predation.
Washington, DC

Today, Jaime Herrera Beutler joined U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) to introduce a bill to improve the survival of endangered salmon, steelhead and other native fish species in the Columbia River system. The Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act provides tribal members and government fish managers with the means to remove California sea lions and harbor seals from specific areas where they are posing the most harm.

Specifically, this bipartisan bill would authorize tribal members - under the training of U.S. Fish and Wildlife - to use lethal force to remove sea lions. The bill is supported by a broad spectrum of Northwest residents and organizations that includes recreational fishermen represented by the Coastal Conservation Association, tribal members represented by Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Historic recovery efforts of endangered salmon and steelhead populations in the Columbia River have been compromised by increasing sea lion predation. The last count of sea lions and seals below the Bonneville Dam intercepting salmon as they continued onto spawning areas was 7,000 in 2010. Since that time, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has observed sea lions from that area at an increasing rate - from 80 sea lions in 2010 to 616 in 2014. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that in 2014, sea lions and seals consumed nearly 45% of the salmon returns in the Columbia River and its tributaries, up from 10% in 2010.

"Salmon are part of the very fabric of the Pacific Northwest, which is why significant resources are spent making sure they survive and can continue to support recreational, cultural and economic interests," said Jaime. "However, this is money wasted if we fail to responsibly manage the sea lion population that is devastating their numbers."

"Predation from sea lions is a serious, growing threat to salmon and steelhead recovery efforts in the Pacific Northwest, as well as the future of our fisheries. Sea lions are also becoming a major public safety issue in many areas. Federal policies must be reformed and I applaud Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler and Kurt Schrader for taking on this important effort," said Gary Loomis, founder of G-Loomis, Edge Rods and Coastal Conservation Association in the Pacific Northwest.

"As the people of the Northwest invest millions annually towards salmon recovery on the Columbia River, it is important that tribal and government fish managers have the necessary tools to restore balance between abundant sea lion populations and the endangered salmon and steelhead populations," said Guy R. Norman, Regional director of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. "We have been entrusted to protect these endangered fish populations and this legislation introduced by Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler gives us the tools we need."

* Limits the cumulative level of lethal take to 1% of annual biological potential removal level;

* Further limits the lethal take to 10 animals per permit holder;

* And spurs the Secretary of Commerce to report on any additional legislation needed to amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act within two years.

http://herrerabeutler.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=398503#Comments

http://nwsportsmanmag.com/editors-blog/oregon-washington-congressman-introduce-sea-lion-bill/
 

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Needs To pass. It's a big problem in the direction to recovering salmon and steelhead on the Columbia system. They either need to mitigate the loss with more hatchery production which would be an ongoing increase in releases. Charge the folks that consume store bought columbia river salmon or steelhead through the roof prices to force them understand there is a problem with the system (won't happen). Or kill the problem. I say kill em. Much more cost effective than raising 40-50% more fish.
 

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I was just fishing the Columbia across from the Kalama boat launch, and this year is the first year I have seen pods of seals and sea lions coming up on a regular pattern no matter what the tide was. And I personally watched 4 salmon/steelhead taken by these seals, not to mention 3 sturgeon...It is time to dispatch these seals. But i have always heard that once the state allows to take out the seals that tree huggers stop them and they end up back in court. If this is the case they just need to over rule them and continue to take care of the problem.....Or let the Indians tribs come and dispatch them....This is out of control now with the population that is in the river system....
 

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IMHO kill all of those fury bastards! Depletion of salmon, steelies and sturgeon which California has paid nothing for I'm sure... How about we start asking for California to start paying for our losses of our tax money or and more fish to our hatcheries... I bet they wouldn't like that... And for the tree huggers they just need to worry about the trees after all they do love their trees! KC out
 

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I wished it would just get done without any publicity, before some group can challenge it.
 

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Every year we would go down to fish for Shad and we would always see the sturgeons jump and show themselves. They would always patrol the shallows for the scraps and guts that we throw in. The past few years, nothing, where did they go? These sea lions and seals are decimating all of them! They need to totaly get rid of them permanently, not just transport them away. Its obvious they communicate and call friends. This is out of control. I would love to see the sturgeons back again.
 

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I noticed that too wanamamulan. But never thought about the Sealions.
We've been targeting shad for almost 30 years and every year I hand-fed the sturgeons during my afternoon breaks but the last 4 years we didn't see any mature sturgeon cruising the shoreline.
 
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