Sea Lion Lounging Out at Bonneville Dam

By Bryan Dorr

NORTH BONNEVILLE, Wash.—A California sea lion is spotted resting on a floating cage on Tuesday at the Bonneville Dam, then becoming paranoid by the deterrent device discharging and echoing in the Columbia River Gorge.

The sea lions are ocean-going animals but many have found their way up the Columbia and Willamette rivers to dine or snack on fish. Many fish near the Bonneville Dam are juveniles departing from the nearby hatcheries.

Officials usually discharge rubber bullets or other non-lethal hazing methods permitted by federal law to chase away the sea lions, but the results have been rather unsuccessful.

Sea lions are federally protected animals under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Harassing, harming, or killing a sealion by a private citizen is illegal.

(Editor's note: The video of the sea lion was shot from approximately 1,200 feet away from the sea lion, resulting in using the digital zoom instead of the optical zoom. We typically discourage the use of digital zooming on the camera because of degraded video quality.)

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alex says ... on Thursday, Mar 4 at 10:31 AM

i agree with all of them. except where they should be killed or anything they are just doing what they need to do to survive. we see all the time that the fishermen that our government pays for to catch fish across seas.

Elsa says ... on Sunday, Sep 20 at 9:49 PM

I'm sorry for my previous statement, I now realize that the Sea-Lions are one of the major reasons that the Salmon runs are declining. I also realize, now that Sea-Lions are able to be killed, that the Salmon runs are finally starting to bcom normal.

juansegin says ... on Thursday, Jun 11 at 3:26 PM

I have to agree with Elsa. It is the human that is the enemy of wildlife. Contrary to popular belief, the sea lion is more than an ocean going animal. It has traditionally followed fish, especially salmon, to wherever it is easiest to catch them.

Elsa says ... on Saturday, May 17 at 6:56 AM

People are ridiculous. Freaking out about sea lions eating fish? You notice, it's only FISHERMEN who are freaking out like this. Because they are grossly, avariciously, self interested. It's people who have been OVERFISHING FOR YEARS who cry.

animal person says ... on Friday, May 9 at 10:58 AM

I think that the sea lion should be sent to wildlife preserves and/or zoos where rhey can be fed

Dave Sargeant says ... on Wednesday, Apr 16 at 10:21 PM

Sealions have already destroyed the salmon runs now they deside to do something. These fishery departments and state governments both have let us down while letting these animals destroy the salmon runs and also kill other fish in the river.

Michael Taylor says ... on Sunday, Mar 23 at 7:18 AM

Your news and video story about Cal Sea Lions eating Pacific Salmon, is not showing Salmon, the fish they are eating and shown in you clips are Sturgeon. That is a much more serious issue that them eating Salmon.

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