Oregon and Washington wildlife agents are dismantling their sea lion traps below Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River. The states think the trapping — and ten executions — reduced the predation on this year’s spring salmon run. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.
The states of Oregon, Idaho, and Washington won federal permission to trap and kill sea lions that prey on endangered salmon in the lower Columbia River.
The season started in March with a hit list of about 80 individually indentified California sea lions.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Craig Bartlett says 14 of those were captured. Ten were euthanized and four banished to aquariums.
Craig Bartlett: “We would have liked to remove more animals this year. (But) this is a multi-year project. So we expect to be at this for several more years.”
Bartlett says final numbers on the spring salmon run are not yet in. But he says it appears the pack of sea lions ate fewer salmon this year.
Most of the sea lions have now departed for their southern breeding grounds.
Coming up next is a trial in federal appeals court. The Humane Society is attempting to stop the sea lion killings.
On the web:
Photo for web-posting [0527TB_Sealions.jpg] Courtesy of ODFW
Oregon Fish & Wildlife sea lion update:
[ http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/SeaLion/index.asp ]http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/SeaLion/index.asp