Sea Lions vs Salmon: It’s an Issue in the Northwest

We love salmon. Sea lions love salmon. The problem is, they don’t care if they’re endangered or not. Both the Oregon and Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife have been trying for years to figure out how to shoo the sea lions away from Willamette Falls and the Bonneville Dam. Salmon pool in those areas and when the seals and sea lions show up, it’s like a free buffet for them. The pinnipeds follow Smelt upriver from the ocean, and even though several strategies to get rid of them have been tried including moving them, seal bombs, which are like firecrackers, and loud obnoxious sounds, they’re sticking around.

Photo courtesy of NOAA

What happens to those who refuse to leave? They’re euthanized. We talked to both Oregon and Washington about that. You can hear that here

More about: