Sea Lions

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

 

State wildlife officers trapped and killed six salmon-chomping sea lions at Bonneville Dam earlier this week.

It's part of a renewed campaign against nuisance predators who follow the spring salmon run.

Supporters of an effort to stop the government from killing sea lions at Bonneville Dam made their case to a federal judge in Portland Friday. The animals are targeted because they feed on endangered salmon.

The lawsuit was filed by the Humane Society of the United States this spring after the National Marine Fisheries Service gave Oregon and Washington the go-ahead to kill up to 30 California sea lions.

Bonneville Dam along the Columbia River is a favorite hang-out spot for the marine mammals. The dam makes it easy for them to munch on migrating salmon and other fish.

The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. — A Washington state wildlife spokesman says two salmon-eating California sea lions have been captured this week at Bonneville Dam and killed by lethal injection.

The Oregonian reports the deaths are the first this year after a federal judge ruled last month the program could proceed.

Death penalty returns for Bonneville sea lions

Mar 15, 2012

The federal government has reauthorized the death penalty for the most troublesome California sea lions which congregate at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River.

A lawsuit by the Humane Society of the United States forced a temporary halt to selective killing of sea lions below Bonneville Dam. Northwest states, tribes and the federal fisheries agency went back to the drawing board.

Now they've returned with pretty much the same answer as before regarding how to stop sea lions from eating too many threatened salmon.

Last Wednesday, Dec. 7, Everett Herald photographer Mark Mulligan caught a rare sight on camera – a stellar sea lion feeding on an octopus. (See video inside.)

Federal officials revoked the permission today they had given to Oregon and Washington to trap and kill sea lions on the Columbia River. But Rob Manning reports it may be just a temporary move.

The Humane Society of the United States is battling the two states and the federal government in court over the propriety of killing sea lions to save salmon. Government officials say there are doubts about whether the latest federal authorization was given properly – because the states hadn't requested new authority.

Some of the top news stories around the Northwest this morning:

  • New Plan to Target Sea Lions
  • State House Lays Out a Budget Plan
  • Bellevue Tackles Steep Rise in Burglaries

 

Legislators Driving Toward Budget Showdown

Democrats in the state House of Representatives presented their budget plan for the next two years, slashing nearly $5 billion in spending. Cuts come from many areas, including K-4 education spending, and care for the developmentally disabled. Spared? Enrollment for 25,000 slots in children's health insurance program, Apple Health for Kids.

Don Ryan / AP Photo

State and federal agencies can’t go on killing sea lions at Bonneville Dam, after an appeals’ court decision Tuesday.

AP

A task force convened by the federal government is recommending that wildlife agents get more aggressive about trapping and killing sea lions in the Columbia River.