Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

Sea Lion Battle: Animal Rights Groups Vs. Anglers

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

FlyTalk
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

May 19, 2011

Sea Lion Battle: Animal Rights Groups Vs. Anglers

By Tim Romano

California sea lions are eating thousands of endangered salmon in the Columbia River system and have been for years. Deeter and I witnessed it first hand fishing for salmon, smallmouth, and sturgeon the past couple days with the fine gentlemen from G.Loomis rods.

The local fishermen are sick of the sea lions munching on their fish. It's a huge problem and only getting worse. Just last friday a sea lion played a little tug of war with an angler and his salmon, ultimately pulling him overboard.

Monday, the states of Washington and Oregon, "won authorization from a federal agency (NOAA) on Friday to kill sea lions eating endangered salmon at the Bonneville Dam, angering animal rights advocates." said this Reuters news article. Anglers here are cheering the ruling, while the Humane Society is contemplating fighting it like they did in 2008. It was a fight they ultimately won.

William Stelle, with NOAA says, "This is not an easy decision for our agency to make, but a thorough analysis shows that a small number of California sea lions preying on salmon and steelhead are having a significant effect on the ability of the fish stocks to recover". While the Humane Society thinks otherwise stating, "This is shameful that they (NOAA) are distracting attention from real problems they could be addressing", and, "This is one of the least important things they can to do address salmon recovery".

It's a sticky wicket for sure - pitting an endangered species (salmon) against one that is protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (sea lions). I'm curious if any of you had any skin in the game or know anyone who does.

Comments (18)

Top Rated
All Comments
from badsmerf wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

I just watched a show about the salmon in the columbia. I hate sea l lions, have since I lived in alaska. The salmon population is in much worse shape than sea lions. We caused this so hopefully we can help them come back.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioboy wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

I can't say I know about the issue much at all, but it sounds like a very interesting case of wildlife management based on opinion and not science. It sounds like they have a stable population size that is causing problems. Maybe their protection needs to be reviewed so more appropriate management can take place?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

The most dangerous threat to both sea lions and salmon is the word AGENDA. Until both side drops theirs and work together neither animal will be properly managed.

Feel free to replace sea lions and salmon in the statement above with any antagonistic pair.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jvento wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Would it be possible to put up some sort of gate/barrier? It would allow the salmon to swim through and stop the sea lions from coming up the river. Maybe something akin to a rod iron fence with vertical slits that salmon could swim through with ease. Maybe even add censors to count and measure the salmon? The only problem I see with the gate is the possibility of debris piling up, in effect damning the river. But you could always hire divers to be on a daily watch and clear any major debris away from the "gate". Save the salmon and create a few jobs.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from ingebrigtsen wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Seals and sealions must be managed otherwise u create conditions where they will starve to death.. besides putting a quota on em and starting to hunt them opens up a new venue of hunting.. cant be bad.. hunting seal is one of the most challenging for the shooter :P but i can understand if u yanks dont wanna learn it ;)probably too challenging for your cruddy american rifles and shooters alike :D:D:D

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from baconboy206 wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

jevento, that would be highly impractical on the columbia, its miles wide in places and hundred of feet deep in the others.
I can agree with the statement that there are other possibly more important things to be done to save the salmon, the sea lions pale in significance to the dams (which created this whole sea lion problem to begin with), the logging and habitat degredation, over fishing. Nonetheless the sea lions are a problem and im glad they are finnaly doing something pro active as opposed to the firecrackers and rubber bullets they were using.As far as stealing fish from fisherman, thats nothing special, it happens to all northwest salmon fisherman especially around estuaries where the fish stack up and the other wildlife comes to feast. I usually lose 2 or 3 fish to seals every year atleast.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dukkillr wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Kill them. I used to fish a lot in the San Diego area, and we considered them to be reincarnated demons. You can't frickin catch a fish without having to muscle it to the boat doubletime!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nick Jensen wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

I have one big problem with this story and it is the first line of the second paragraph, "The local fishermen are sick of the sea lions munching on their fish." The fish doesn't belong to the fisherman anymore than does the air or the river. We need to stop thinking of nature as "ours" because it isn't. The wild things have been here long before us and will survive long after us. Sea Lions had been eating Salmon for millions of years before we came along, dammed the rivers and decimated the schools, if anything we are stealing their fish. We may use them for sport or food but that doesn't make the wild swimming salman ours to use at the exclusion of the other animals that need them. Just my opinion.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from bass bomber wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

I agree with golfing sportsman. Its really not our fish. But at the same time a huntin season for seal lions should be opened. It would give DNRs more money, keep the salmon populations healthy and provide a new hunting experience.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from South Bay Lodge wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

I'm sure this won't be a popular comment, but the only species that doesn't belong in this conversation is the fisherman.....

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from timromano wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

golfing sportsman,

You know what? You're right. Good call.

But in the context of what I do and this magazine/website I don't think I'm entirely off base here. If you notice I didn't take a side - simply stated that the fisherman are sick of it. If anything we the people have messed up the salmon stocks much worse than Sea Lions, with dams, pesticides, fish farms, etc... This is simply one of the things that is being looked at to bring back salmon to their historic runs. I will say though - and again this is in the context of a fishing for sport - Last time I checked, whole communities, economies, and industries were not based on the sea lion population. Granted that's from a human's point of view..

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Tough call here. Wolves are our problem many times over, we eliminated them and that screwed things up and now bringing them back has been screwing things up in new ways. With the sea lions, we did nothing. They are doing what is natural for them as a naturally occurring population of predators. They just happen to be compounding another one of our problems.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fflutterffly wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

'tug of war with their salmon'. Who's salmon? They aren't OUR salmon. It's the circle. You don't fight a bear who comes and takes the fish on your line. I agree Golfing. Smug little humans who think they are on top of the food chain. We poison OUR fish with chemicals, change THEIR water ways and destroy THEIR lands. Get off your high horse and enjoy the what you all brag about... loving to see and be in nature and experience the rare force. This is what animals do.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

dawgz pretty much nailed it. the commercial fishermen are the biggest cause of the salmon decline. if the sea lions haven't destroyed the salmon population after preying on them all this time, they never will.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ingebrigtsen wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

oh the fisherman belongs.. thats like saying that city`s arenth natural.. cos they are.. theire natural for humans.. humans have built cities for countless geneations and years.. we humans have a right to live just like anything else.. its only that we have let our greed surpass our need for food by way more than nature can provide.. most fishermen are poor and do theire best to make a living doing something hard and dangerous.. pay more for the fish in the shops and make the companies that buys the fish from the fisherman be less greedy and there will be salmon enough for everyone is what i say, and i grew up as a fisherman and know what im talking about ;)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from truckee trout wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

lets work on getting salmon numbers back to historic levels and everyone can get a piece of the action. as of right now salmon must come first, without them fisherman,sea lions and everyone else pay the price!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ZCORR wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

I can't say I know much about this sort of thing myself but I could see how without some sort of management the salmon are depleted and then what happens to the sea lions. Somewhere a balance needs to be established between salmon, humans, and sea lions.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ruger wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

I say they allow us to start fishing for sea lions. ;)

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Nick Jensen wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

I have one big problem with this story and it is the first line of the second paragraph, "The local fishermen are sick of the sea lions munching on their fish." The fish doesn't belong to the fisherman anymore than does the air or the river. We need to stop thinking of nature as "ours" because it isn't. The wild things have been here long before us and will survive long after us. Sea Lions had been eating Salmon for millions of years before we came along, dammed the rivers and decimated the schools, if anything we are stealing their fish. We may use them for sport or food but that doesn't make the wild swimming salman ours to use at the exclusion of the other animals that need them. Just my opinion.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from jvento wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Would it be possible to put up some sort of gate/barrier? It would allow the salmon to swim through and stop the sea lions from coming up the river. Maybe something akin to a rod iron fence with vertical slits that salmon could swim through with ease. Maybe even add censors to count and measure the salmon? The only problem I see with the gate is the possibility of debris piling up, in effect damning the river. But you could always hire divers to be on a daily watch and clear any major debris away from the "gate". Save the salmon and create a few jobs.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from South Bay Lodge wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

I'm sure this won't be a popular comment, but the only species that doesn't belong in this conversation is the fisherman.....

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

The most dangerous threat to both sea lions and salmon is the word AGENDA. Until both side drops theirs and work together neither animal will be properly managed.

Feel free to replace sea lions and salmon in the statement above with any antagonistic pair.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

dawgz pretty much nailed it. the commercial fishermen are the biggest cause of the salmon decline. if the sea lions haven't destroyed the salmon population after preying on them all this time, they never will.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ingebrigtsen wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

oh the fisherman belongs.. thats like saying that city`s arenth natural.. cos they are.. theire natural for humans.. humans have built cities for countless geneations and years.. we humans have a right to live just like anything else.. its only that we have let our greed surpass our need for food by way more than nature can provide.. most fishermen are poor and do theire best to make a living doing something hard and dangerous.. pay more for the fish in the shops and make the companies that buys the fish from the fisherman be less greedy and there will be salmon enough for everyone is what i say, and i grew up as a fisherman and know what im talking about ;)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ingebrigtsen wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Seals and sealions must be managed otherwise u create conditions where they will starve to death.. besides putting a quota on em and starting to hunt them opens up a new venue of hunting.. cant be bad.. hunting seal is one of the most challenging for the shooter :P but i can understand if u yanks dont wanna learn it ;)probably too challenging for your cruddy american rifles and shooters alike :D:D:D

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dukkillr wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Kill them. I used to fish a lot in the San Diego area, and we considered them to be reincarnated demons. You can't frickin catch a fish without having to muscle it to the boat doubletime!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bass bomber wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

I agree with golfing sportsman. Its really not our fish. But at the same time a huntin season for seal lions should be opened. It would give DNRs more money, keep the salmon populations healthy and provide a new hunting experience.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from timromano wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

golfing sportsman,

You know what? You're right. Good call.

But in the context of what I do and this magazine/website I don't think I'm entirely off base here. If you notice I didn't take a side - simply stated that the fisherman are sick of it. If anything we the people have messed up the salmon stocks much worse than Sea Lions, with dams, pesticides, fish farms, etc... This is simply one of the things that is being looked at to bring back salmon to their historic runs. I will say though - and again this is in the context of a fishing for sport - Last time I checked, whole communities, economies, and industries were not based on the sea lion population. Granted that's from a human's point of view..

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fflutterffly wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

'tug of war with their salmon'. Who's salmon? They aren't OUR salmon. It's the circle. You don't fight a bear who comes and takes the fish on your line. I agree Golfing. Smug little humans who think they are on top of the food chain. We poison OUR fish with chemicals, change THEIR water ways and destroy THEIR lands. Get off your high horse and enjoy the what you all brag about... loving to see and be in nature and experience the rare force. This is what animals do.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from truckee trout wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

lets work on getting salmon numbers back to historic levels and everyone can get a piece of the action. as of right now salmon must come first, without them fisherman,sea lions and everyone else pay the price!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from badsmerf wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

I just watched a show about the salmon in the columbia. I hate sea l lions, have since I lived in alaska. The salmon population is in much worse shape than sea lions. We caused this so hopefully we can help them come back.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioboy wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

I can't say I know about the issue much at all, but it sounds like a very interesting case of wildlife management based on opinion and not science. It sounds like they have a stable population size that is causing problems. Maybe their protection needs to be reviewed so more appropriate management can take place?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from baconboy206 wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

jevento, that would be highly impractical on the columbia, its miles wide in places and hundred of feet deep in the others.
I can agree with the statement that there are other possibly more important things to be done to save the salmon, the sea lions pale in significance to the dams (which created this whole sea lion problem to begin with), the logging and habitat degredation, over fishing. Nonetheless the sea lions are a problem and im glad they are finnaly doing something pro active as opposed to the firecrackers and rubber bullets they were using.As far as stealing fish from fisherman, thats nothing special, it happens to all northwest salmon fisherman especially around estuaries where the fish stack up and the other wildlife comes to feast. I usually lose 2 or 3 fish to seals every year atleast.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Tough call here. Wolves are our problem many times over, we eliminated them and that screwed things up and now bringing them back has been screwing things up in new ways. With the sea lions, we did nothing. They are doing what is natural for them as a naturally occurring population of predators. They just happen to be compounding another one of our problems.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ZCORR wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

I can't say I know much about this sort of thing myself but I could see how without some sort of management the salmon are depleted and then what happens to the sea lions. Somewhere a balance needs to be established between salmon, humans, and sea lions.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ruger wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

I say they allow us to start fishing for sea lions. ;)

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment