Tomorrow, the Senate Commerce Committee will vote on the bipartisan "Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act." The bill, introduced by Washington Senator Maria Cantwell and Idaho Senator Jim Risch would give state and tribal fishery managers more flexibility to deal with predatory sea lions in the Columbia River system that are threatening both salmon and steelhead populations listed under the Endangered Species Act.
The executive session will begin at 6:45 am PT.
Sea lion populations have increased significantly along the West Coast over the past 40 years; today, there are roughly 300,000. These sea lions have entered into habitat where they had never been before, including areas around the Bonneville Dam and Willamette Falls. A recent study showed that winter steelhead populations near Willamette are likely to go extinct if the sea lion population is not addressed immediately.
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