Early action key to reducing sea lion impacts on Bonneville Dam salmon

A new study used the same kind of models that scientists use to track disease to instead examine how some California sea lions have learned to prey on salmon gathering to ascend fish ladders at Bonneville Dam. Although sea lions commonly feast on fish, their predation on salmon at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River poses wildlife management challenges. The sea lions that gather on the Columbia each spring are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act while the salmon they are eating are protected by the Endangered Species Act. In 2008 NOAA Fisheries authorized Oregon, Washington and Idaho wildlife authorities to begin trapping and removing sea lions shown to repeatedly prey on salmon at the dam. The removal program was designed to reduce impacts on protected salmon. Read the rest here 20:04