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Ecology and salmon related articles

Sea Lion Trapped,
Removed from Bonneville Pool

by Al Thomas
The Columbian, January 31, 2016

Graphic: Pinniped numbers at Bonneville Dam by date January through May 2015. Officials have captured the next-to-last sea lion in the Bonneville pool of the Columbia River and relocated it to the Oregon coast.

Guy Norman, regional director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said at the Columbia River Compact meeting this week the sea lion was trapped and transported by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

"It was not on the list for lethal removal based on criteria for observation of a specific animal eating salmon at Bonneville Dam multiple times," Norman said.

Wilbur Slockish Jr. of the Yakama Nation told the compact sea lions have been a problem for treaty Indian fishermen, especially in the spring.

"We would like to see lethal removal for any sea lion trapped upstream of Bonneville Dam," Slockish said in his remarks.

Doug Hatch of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission said sea lions have been observed in Bonneville pool since about 2007-2008.

"One sea lion resided for four-plus years in the Bonneville pool," Hatch said. "Others have spent varying amounts of time in the pool ranging from a few days to more than a year."

Hatch said it appears there"s still one sea lion in the pool. It has been observed in the upper end of the reservoir near The Dalles, Ore.

The commission gets many reports annually from tribal fishermen regarding sea lions affecting their fishing gear and salmon catches, he added.

"Sea lions use the lock to enter the Bonneville pool and the Corps of Engineers changed their locking protocol about four years ago to decrease the chance of sea lions entering the lock," Hatch said. "This change has greatly reduced the number of new animals entering the pool."

Related Pages:
Trap Malfunction Results in Accidental Death of Two California Sea Lions At Bonneville Dam by Staff Columbia Basin Bulletin, 5/8/15
As Spring Chinook Return Gathers Steam, Sea Lion Numbers In Bonneville Dam Tailrace Above Average by Staff Columbia Basin Bulletin, 4/17/15
Gillnetters Fall Short Of Harvest Target in Tuesday Fishery; Heavy Sea Lion Presence Cited by Staff Columbia Basin Bulletin, 4/10/15
Sea Lions Showing Large Presence in Lower Columbia; Smelt First, Then Come Spring Chinook by Staff Columbia Basin Bulletin, 3/13/13

Al Thomas
Sea Lion Trapped, Removed from Bonneville Pool
The Columbian, January 31, 2016

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