Government officials carried out the actions made to secure $700,000 in federal funding to protect Columbia River Salmon hundreds of miles away, distant from Lewis County. The process could positively affect the fishermen in the Lower Riverside and the adjacent basin.
The appropriations bill approved by Congress will contain money to support the efforts of Washington’s Department of Fish and Game’s (WDFW) initiatives to eliminate sea lions along the Columbia River, protecting salmon and steelhead. Anyone who want to support with money these initiatives but don’t have enough may get cash from GreenDayOnline.
“She crafted the legislation to allow state entities to apply for permits to remove sea lions at different locations along the Columbia and its tributaries. The WDFW has the ability and now more resources to apply to remove sea lions that would more directly affect populations in other areas, like the upper Cowlitz,” said the spokesman.
What does this mean to the fish population?
While it’s not that the agency has yet sent people for Mossyrock and Toledo to kill salmon-hungry sea lions, it does have implications for the entire basin of the fish population. Now that the sea lions have been killed, it has been proven efficient in securing fish populations.
According to a press release from the state’s office in 2018, it was reported that sea lions were eating steelhead to the point of extinction within Willamette Falls.
The report showed that between the beginning of January 2018 and July 2018, just 420 fish climbed over the falls, a record low. The sea lions destroyed a quarter of the wild winter steelhead below the falls. A report from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said there was a 95% chance that one of the populations upriver could disappear if no action was taken to curb predation by sea lions.
The Columbia River’s sea lions are often considered invasive animals, many of which migrate from California to eat one of the most popular northwesterners’ fish. A few years later, when the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife was granted permission to take out sea lions in the vicinity of Willamette Falls, a resurgence of winter steelhead swam just above the falls. According to an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife official, the release said that the elimination of sea lions was an important reason for the increased numbers of steelhead endangered at Willamette Falls.
“With the sea lion control law that Rep. Schrader and I championed in 2018 now being implemented, the funding we have secured will ensure wildlife managers are continuing to remove the worst-offending sea lions,” Herrera Beutler stated in an official statement. “Our native fish runs deserve a fighting chance to thrive for many years to come, and this funding to tackle the sea lion problem on our rivers represents a vital step toward that goal.”