WDFW files to remove sea lions from Columbia River

rickstah

Ocean ho.
Nov 24, 2013
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Rick
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19' Maxum for the Sound / Ocean boat-ho
https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/wdfw-and-p...move-sea-lions-columbia-river-and-tributaries

WDFW and partners submit application to lethally remove sea lions from Columbia River and tributaries
Date
Jun. 13, 2019
Contact


Kessina Lee, 360-906-6704
Public Affairs contact: Ben Anderson, 360-902-0045

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), along with a consortium of state and tribal partners, today submitted an expanded application to lethally remove California and Steller sea lions preying on threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead runs in the Columbia River and its tributaries.

California sea lions -- and increasingly, Steller sea lions -- have been observed in growing numbers in the Columbia River basin, especially in the last decade. These sea lions prey heavily on salmon and steelhead runs listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), including thousands of fish at Bonneville Dam each year.

The impacts come at a time when many Chinook salmon runs are already at historic lows.

The recovery of sea lions since the passage of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) in 1972 is a success story, said Kessina Lee, Region 5 director with WDFW. But that recovery has also brought challenges.

“The vast majority of these animals remain in coastal and offshore waters, but several hundred have established themselves in upriver locations,” Lee said. “Where salmon and steelhead numbers are low, any unmanaged increase in predation can cause serious problems.”

Predator management is a key part of a multi-faceted effort to restore salmon and steelhead populations in the Pacific Northwest.

“For decades, we’ve made strides in habitat restoration, hydropower policy, hatchery production, and fishery management, and we continue to work with our partners to further those initiatives,” Lee said. “Predator management remains an essential part of the equation.”

The application submitted to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) by WDFW and its partners is the first since Congress passed an amendment to the MMPA in December 2018. That amendment, spearheaded by the Pacific Northwest congressional delegation, passed with strong bipartisan support and offers greater flexibility to wildlife managers when determining if a sea lion should be lethally removed in waters that host ESA-listed runs of salmon or steelhead.

“Based on years of experience working within the bounds of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Columbia River fishing tribes contend that predator management is necessary to restore balance to the Columbia River system,” said Ryan Smith, chairman of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. “Strong partnerships and collaboration with the states, northwest congressional delegation, federal authorities, and nongovernment organizations resulted in this amendment, which applies robust tools to manage sea lions in the lower Columbia River and recognizes tribal sovereignty in that management.”

WDFW and its partners have taken steps to deter California sea lions in the Columbia River basin for more than a decade, but non-lethal measures have proven largely ineffective, driving animals away for only short periods. These hazing measures appear similarly ineffective against Steller sea lions. Non-lethal measures continue to be used as a short-term deterrent when appropriate.

Wildlife managers have conducted lethal removal operations of California sea lions in the Columbia River basin since 2008, when NMFS first issued a letter of authorization under section 120 of the MMPA. From 2008-2019, wildlife managers removed a total of 219 California sea lions that met the federal criteria for removal below Bonneville Dam.

Steller sea lions have not previously been subject to lethal removal.

“Prior to this legislation, wildlife managers were severely limited in their ability to effectively manage sea lions in these areas,” Lee said. “Additional action is required to protect these troubled fish stocks before they are completely eliminated. This is an unfortunate, but necessary step in the salmon recovery process.”

If approved, WDFW expects to begin humanely removing animals under the terms of the expanded application beginning in 2020. The application is subject to a public comment period and review by NMFS. Members of the public can review the application at https://wdfw.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2019-06/MMPA-120f-application.pdf.

Other entities submitting the application with WDFW include the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the Nez Perce Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR), the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon (CTWSR), The Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, and the 3.6.D Committee, which includes ODFW, CTUIR, CTWSR, the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community, and the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians of Oregon.
 
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eldplanko

got the skunk off
Jun 18, 2012
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Smoke a pack a day.... oh wait, wrong mammal. Maybe we should just dump the wolves in the river and let nature take it’s course.
 
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EJ Swanny

Three Generations of Uff-Dah
Nov 30, 2010
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Erik
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It's a start..gotta start somewhere. Just the words of "lethally remove" is good news. Get "Jane Q. Treehugger" to accept a little removal for the greater good, then, bit-by-bit keep expanding.

Still don't get why the tribes can't declare it a cultural/native tradition to hunt sea-lions and lay waste. Oh yeah, there's no money in that..just food and skins they used to rely on...

Wonder what the "lethal" removal tool would be....06', or a .270 magnum hollow point would vaporize their their head....
 
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JohnnieB

SelFishAddiction
May 16, 2016
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JB
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Unknown limits
I'm no fan of sea lions, but nets do more damage to Salmon populations than sea lions ever do, by the way how much is a sea lion mount:confused::720icon:
 
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FishPimpII

Repowering the boat..
Jul 27, 2009
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Seattle, Wa
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Jeff Nelson
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255 BW Conquest “Double Header”
“For decades, we’ve made strides in habitat restoration, hydropower policy, hatchery production...”
Made strides in hatchery production?
I guess if you take ten steps back it’s still “strides” just didn’t mention which direction.
 
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rickstah

Ocean ho.
Nov 24, 2013
850
447
Bremerton
Name
Rick
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19' Maxum for the Sound / Ocean boat-ho
“For decades, we’ve made strides in habitat restoration, hydropower policy, hatchery production...”
Made strides in hatchery production?
I guess if you take ten steps back it’s still “strides” just didn’t mention which direction.

Can't help when you have the bone smokers over at WFC suing WDFW every couple years.
 
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EJ Swanny

Three Generations of Uff-Dah
Nov 30, 2010
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Erik
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I’m serious. I’d pay legit money for a Bouy 10 cast and blast permit.

Really don't need a permit. Just head down to the Big C, spot a sea-lion, throw your daughter in the water. Then shout..."It's coming right for her",and dispatch said sea-lion. Simple self-defense, no jury would ever convict a loving father for protecting his loving daughter. Just like Ol' Jimbo.....

 
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ledbed6b

I Should Upgrade My Account
Jun 21, 2010
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Eli
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They could sell a lot of tags for this. Would have to use copper rounds, and the backstop issue (or lack of backstop) could cause problems, but I'm sure people would pay good $$ to shoot seals.

Copper frangible or non-lead shotgun rounds would work well. I just so happen to have both if anyone needs to borrow any when they get a tag.
 
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wdlfbio

Once you go Cat, you never go back
Sep 15, 2008
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laurence
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2021 Allied WildCat 30
32’ cat, small pinniped tower up top, anchored up. Drop back a pair of 8# hatchery silvers on 25/0 mustards, with some custom Thrasher broom sticks and 800# braid.

Critter takes coho, so it’s obviously targeting listed salmon. Crank the drag so it can’t run, bullet to head. Recover critter so it can be disposed of properly.

Targets offending critters, good shot angle, complete recovery so no shot can be consumed by scavengers.
 
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TonyG

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Nov 19, 2010
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Tony
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NR Seahawk OS 26'; 20' Alumaweld Super Vee Sled
32’ cat, small pinniped tower up top, anchored up. Drop back a pair of 8# hatchery silvers on 25/0 mustards, with some custom Thrasher broom sticks and 800# braid.

Critter takes coho, so it’s obviously targeting listed salmon. Crank the drag so it can’t run, bullet to head. Recover critter so it can be disposed of properly.

Targets offending critters, good shot angle, complete recovery so no shot can be consumed by scavengers.
I like it. Shot angle key. They don't present a lot of cross section normally.

Disposed of properly seems like crabs would like them?
 
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wdlfbio

Once you go Cat, you never go back
Sep 15, 2008
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9,745
Olympia, WA
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laurence
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2021 Allied WildCat 30
True, but you know some anti-whacko would recover one, add several bullet holes, plaster the pics along with the snowflakes crying like we just kicked all the homeless bums out of Seattle, and claim the regulators are out wholesale killing with Ak47s.
 
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Waterdog~

Just one more
Sep 1, 2009
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How many points do I need for a tag...…..sounds expensive just like everything else I like to shoot......
 
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eldplanko

got the skunk off
Jun 18, 2012
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Slow night last night, so I actually took the time to skim through the permit app, apparently they’re going to trap, then transport to a vet, and then humanly euthanize... no shooting! Typical WDFW, they take something simple and figure out a way to make it cost 10-times as much.
 
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