Salmon + Sea Lions > Feds
Image from remainingoceansart

Salmon in the Columbia River near the Oregon-Washington border have been considered endangered for some time, and subject to federal protective orders; this manifested itself in an unexpected way…

State agents began trapping sea lions to get them away from their endangered prey. Why were they trapping the lions? Because the courts wouldn’t authorize shooting them.

The sea lions are also protected by federal law. However, the particular law that protects sea lions has a loophole allowing them to be killed or removed by court order. The mammals were trapped because of the ruthless efficiency with which they were hunting salmon at the base of the Bonneville Dam; an obstacle which the fish understandably have problems working around.

Two of the eight trapped on the first day were released in the ocean several miles away.

Stella sea lions are endangered: most are in the process of finding their way into zoos (Sea World is taking 12).

Fishermen and conservationists, oddly on the same side of a debate, claim that the lions annually eat just over 4 percent of the seasonal Chinook Salmon catch. The Humane Society, perhaps the only organization here to note that the issue is the dam, not the sea lions, has claimed that the “designated catch” population has increased by a third this year.