Low on funds, state uses sprinkler to keep sea lions away

Low on funds, state uses sprinkler to keep sea lions away »Play Video

COLUMBIA RIVER – While the federal government wrangles over what to do with sea lions in the Columbia River Gorge, state wildlife officers have a new trick for scaring them away from docks.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has put a lawn sprinkler hooked up to a motion detector on one dock. When the sea lions flop up on the deck and trigger it, it appears they don’t like the noisy spray and scoot off.

Unfortunately, they just head for another dock with no sprinkler. For most fishermen, however, sea lions on the dock aren’t the problem; instead, it’s the sea lions in the river.

But for wildlife officials out of money for more aggressive hazing, the hope is that taking away the sea lions’ place to take a nap may be what keeps them away for good.

While one sprinkler seems to be doing the job of keeping sea lions off of one dock, there’s no word yet from the Department of Fish and Wildlife on whether they think more sprinklers will be worth the money.