Pin It
Favorite

Fish Feast 

by Patrick Farrell & lt;BR & The California sea lions that snarfed up 3,000 chinook salmon at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River have finally headed south to mate. But their big appetites this spring have some fishermen calling for the quick removal and even killing of the protected mammals.


"Our fishermen are very concerned. It's their livelihood, and they are going to take a more extreme view against the sea lions," says Olney Patt Jr., executive director of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Council, which represents the Nez Perce, Yakima and several other tribes.


Biologists estimate that about 100 sea lions noshed through nearly 4 percent of this year's already small salmon run. Patt says their rapacity would have gone "unnoticed" in a normal year. But this year, he says, the salmon runs were so low that they didn't even fulfill the tribes' ceremonial and subsistence takes. Only 82,000 fish returned, compared to more than 180,000 in 2004.


In April, the Inter-Tribal Fish Council sent letters to Oregon and Washington state wildlife managers, requesting that they seek federal permission to remove and even kill problem sea lions. Sea lions are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.


Federal and state wildlife managers have been hazing the animals, using firecrackers, underwater sound systems, rubber-tipped arrows and rubber bullets. They also recently built a $100,000 underwater fence that blocks access to one of the fish ladders.


Plans are under way to build a new sound system and install fences on each of the dam's fish ladders before the sea lions return to the "little fish buffet" next spring, says Army Corps of Engineers spokeswoman Diana Fredlund.





This article first appeared in High Country News (www.hcn.org), which covers the West's communities and natural-resource issues from Paonia, Colo.
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Women's Movement
  • Women's Movement

    The Zags are thrilling their fans and filling the stands in a way few women's programs are anywhere
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Cultural Warrior
  • Cultural Warrior

    Publisher's Note
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Sorry, Senator Risch
  • Sorry, Senator Risch

    But transparency isn't the problem with torture
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Gaiser Conservatory Holiday Lights

Gaiser Conservatory Holiday Lights @ Manito Park

Through Dec. 21

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Let Us Breathe

    Spokane joins national protests over the failure to indict white officers for killing black civilians
    • Dec 10, 2014
  • Screw Big Cities

    A mid-sized manifesto
    • Dec 3, 2014
  • More »

© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation