Tag Archives: Sea lion

Herrera Beutler: To save steelhead, we must cut sea lion numbers

Steelhead, longtime residents in our rivers here in the Pacific Northwest, are now approaching extinction with alarming speed. This isn’t exaggeration; the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife found that one population of steelhead has an 89 percent chance of becoming extinct in the not too distant future. The culprit for the fish’s demise? Sea lions. Experts are pointing to the increased population of California sea lions as the biggest threat. The sea lions gather in locations where steelhead and salmon are the most vulnerable, like below the Willamette Falls or the Bonneville Dam, where these native fish species congregate before heading upstream to spawn. An alarmingly low number of native steelhead — just 512 — made it over Willamette Falls this year. click here to read the story 10:01

Sea lion drags young girl into water at Richmond’s Steveston Wharf

A sea lion was captured on video dragging a young girl into the water at Richmond’s Steveston Fisherman Wharf. In the video, which was posted to Youtube by Vancouver’s Michael Fujiwara, the sea lion surfaces near the dock, and swims about looking harmless. No doubt it was drawn by the fish — this is an area, after all, that was once nicknamed Salmonopolis. But after surveying the area and discovering no fish, the sea lion surprises everyone by approaching a young girl, then suddenly, biting down on her dress and dragging her backwards into the water. click here to read the story, video 09:05

Man vs. mammal, commercial herring fisherman films sea lion feeding frenzy

It’s the age old fight over who gets the fish, man or sea lion. For commercial fisherman Allan Marsden, he’s fed up with the burgeoning sea lion population along the B.C. coast impeding his ability to do his job. Roe herring are fished for their eggs and the fishery takes place as the herring gather to spawn. The window is short — late February to early March — for fishermen to make their quota and Marsden says this year they were unable to make their targets. Marsden puts a lot of the onus on the sea lions. “The sea lions keep the herring down so we can’t get at them. They just make it virtually impossible to put the gear in the water sometimes,” Marsden explains. Video, read the story here 19:05

An Unprovoked Attack: Sea lion bites fisherman at Sand Point dock

A crewman aboard a fishing vessel tied up at the Peter Pan Seafoods dock at Sand Point was bitten by a sea lion who jumped aboard the commercial fishing vessel, causing severe injury, the Aleutians East Borough said in a report published Feb. 28. The attack on Michael “Mack” McNeil, of Deer Park, WA, occurred on Jan. 23, on board the F/V Cape St. Elias, the borough reported in an article written by Laura Tanis, borough communications director and editor of “In The Loop,” the borough’s online newsletter. Owner/skipper Ben Ley said the attack was unprovoked. “We were taking off a pollock net and putting on our cod net at the time,” Ley said. “There were zero fish on board. That’s what’s kind of eerie about this.” McNeil was standing with his back to the stern ramp as the crew moved a net forward off the reel and stacked it to put away.  None of them saw the sea lion swimming around nearby. “This was completely out of the blue,” McNeil said. “I was running hydraulics, and I walked around to clear the backlash. The sea lion came up all the way out of the water, jumped up over the stern ramp and up onto the deck, several feet up.” The sea lion grabbed him before it even hit the deck, McNeil said.  Other crew members grabbed McNeil before he got any closer to the stern ramp. continue reading the story here 14:10

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

Russian fishermen find massive surprise in their net

russian-sea-lionThe crew of a Russian fishing boat got a very big surprise when they pulled up their catch from the watery depths. As the net is raised, one of the fisherman can be heard saying, [translated] “I don’t think there’s anything interesting.” He was wrong. When they released their net, they found plenty of fish, and one massive, and presumably very full, sea lion. The fishermen attempt to goad the unwelcome passenger back into the sea by spraying it with a hose and giving it a few jabs with a broom. They seem to realize their attempts to shoo the enormous creature away are utterly futile, and let the lumbering giant take its time. “Dive already!” one of the fisherman says as the animal lingers on the edge of the boat. Watch the video here 10:28

Federally protected aggressive Steller sea lion harasses fishermen

05162016_Sea-Lion-attack_COURTESYA 2,500-pound terrorist has been surprising sport and commercial fishermen outside Sitka harbors. There’s one thing he’s after—fish — and the season is just ramping up. This federally-protected mammal is causing more trouble than his weight for the city. A Steller sea lion has been frequenting the Sealing Cove fish cleaning station for more than a month now. When anglers cruise into the floating dock to fillet their catch, the animal beelines toward them for what he hopes is an easy meal. Police Lt. Lance Ewers had his own run-in with the sea lion, after a day out on the water with his kids. He says he saw his friend cleaning fish by the runway on his way back into Sealing Cove and asked what was up. Read the rest here 20:03

NOAA OLE Agents probe possible sea lion shootings in Astoria

clip_image002_001The Sea Lion Defense Brigade discovered bullet casings and bleeding sea lions at the East End Mooring Basin in Astoria. We can tell you that NOAA office of law enforcement has received a complaint, and we are investigating the possible shooting of sea lions at the East End Mooring Basin,” said Sean Stanley, a special agent with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Stanley wouldn’t comment further, citing the ongoing case. Read the rest here 17:13

Oceana blame’s sardine overfishing, not just warmer waters, for sea lion deaths.

stupid-mainBut marine conservation nonprofit Oceana, which has a California office in Monterey’s Heritage Harbor, connects another dot to the scarcity of sea lion food: sardine fishing. The Pacific Coast sardine population is at its lowest level in 15 years, Oceana reports. “Any fishing on Pacific sardine right now is overfishing,” said Geoff Shester, Oceana California campaign director. “While federal officials are quick to blame ocean conditions for the declines in [sea lion] prey, they have turned a blind eye to the effects of sardine fishing,,, Read the rest here 07:44

Congress Proposes Relaxing Sea Lion Protections

The Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act, a proposed amendment to the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act, could soon give tribal members and government fishery managers in the Columbia River Basin authority to kill sea lions threatening endangered salmon populations. U.S. Reps Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) introduced the amendment on January 27. Read the rest here 08:41

Deadly Sea Lion Mystery Draws Biologists to Remote San Miguel Island, Calif in Search of Clues

It’s late June, and San Miguel Island’s white sand beaches are filled with barking sea lions. More than 100,000 of them. The marine mammals have come to this windy, remote island to breed and give birth – a rowdy, stinky summer extravaganza that last year, enigmatically, ended in disaster. Sardine and anchovy, which normally cycle in abundance, are both low now, a combination that strains the food resources available to predators like sea lions. Though the cause of the decline is still unknown, it doesn’t seem to be the result of overfishing. [email protected]

Marine mammal predation – “Sea lion solutions are scarce as the 2013 salmon run

The Oregonian –  It was a sea-lion kind of week, with lots of media attention (spurred by The Oregonian’s John Canzano) brought to .  Marine mammal predation on angler-hooked salmon has been worse than ever — so bad, in fact, most anglers have quit fishing during the traditional peak of the run. The blubbery slaughter was well-covered, but no one paid more than lip service to the real question: What can be done? Not much in the short term, said Brent Norberg of the National Marine Fisheries Service office in Seattle. continued