Recent Posts


Simms Pelton Dam Fishing License Cuba tippet rings Winter Steelhead Corey Koff Salmonfly hatch Trout Bum Road Trip North Umpqua fly fishing saltwater Bozeman Sage Fly Rods Twin Bridges How to Echo ODFW Trout Redband Trout Winter Spey Strategies Spey-O-Rama hot water Dale La Follette Sr. SA Hardy Reel North Coast: Coho Salmon Montana Elk & Sixes Smithers Steamboat Inn Jason Atkinson New Zealand Rob Crandall Nautilus Reels Deschutes River A River Between Us Crooked River Instagram Metolius River Florida Keys Sharks Whitefish Frank Amato McKenzie River Clackamas River Salmon habitat Willamette Trailer Trash Thursday Northern California Steelhead Cookie Lady Kenny Morrish invasive species Salmon-Trout Sage Olympic National Park Nehalem River Black Friday on-line fly shop Atlantic Salmon Bull Trout Yellowstone Sea Trout Mexico Tenkara PGE Jurassic Lake Mia Sheppard Parasite vintage news Wader Maker Contest Lincoln Motor Company Keepemwet Fishing Lost and Found Coat Drive Port Orford Deschutes National Forest Rainbow Trout G3 Waders Salmon Watch Christmas Spring Chinook Oregon Wild fish Bears Big Trout Brown Trout Spirit River Rio Maupin Winston Fly Rods Willamette Falls Vets Bill Black Pyramid Lake Soul River Invasives frying pan river Salmonflies CFR Fishing Report Cutthroat Trout Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Clackamas Fly Fishers Club of Oregon Fly Reels Sea-run Cutthroat Scientific Anglers Boston Whaler Warm Water Bass "Clipped" Tying Contest Brian O'Keefe Brian Silvey Conway Bowman Trout Spey Soft Hackles Travally Rio Products Oregon Trout Bum LaFollette homestead Douglas County Film Contest pay it forward Skaters Marty Sheppard Summer Steelhead Kispiox McKenzie Bryan Huskey Sea-runs Patagonia Sandy River Bulkley photography Alaska Rogue River Stefan Tritscher Sweden Catch Magazine Extinction Argentina Dry Fly Salmon Kamchatka Chinook Salmon Colorado Pacific ocean Tarpon Grand Teton Steelhead Sanctuary Bill Bakke Senator Jeff Merkley Renzetti Travalley Black Spot Williamson River Klamath River Seychelles Outdoor Adventure Day Fly Fishing Film Tour boat cleaning stations Bamboo Rods Bamboo Spey Fishing Tips Elk River Klamath Puget Sound Simon Gawesworth Adventure Big Bugs Carp Bruce Buckmaster Small Streams F3T Owyhee River Native Fish Society Home Waters for the Holidays March Browns history Kenny 5 Legs Craig Montana Wild Steelhead Coalition Trout Unlimited Streamers Todd Moen Jay Nicholas Mousing A River for Christmas British Columbia Roamerica Deschutes Southern Coast Atlantic Salmon Fly Expo Kickstarter John Day Fly Tying Oregon Trout Trail Guided Fishing Winston Snow Deschutes River Alliance Legos Dolly Vardon Frank Moore Chum Salmon Willamette River Prineville The Creel small creeks Lahontan Cutthroat Christmas Trees Oregon Back Roads Senator Ron Wyden Rio Fly Lines Goldenstones Green Drakes Redfish Mending Sea lions Columbia River #keepemwet Project Healing Waters BC Ochoco Creek Kate Koff Blast from the Past John Day River Klamath Lake Dean Finnerty Salmon Fly Green River Redside Rainbow Trask Metolius Native Trout Klamath Dams Coho Fall River Bonefish Steamboat Creek West Slope Cutthroat Permit Caddis flies Road Trip Mako Shark native fish PMDs Poachers Morrish's Fluttering Stone Costa Nevada hatcheries Trout-a-Thon roll cast Abel Reels Kevin Callaway Casting for Recovery State of Jefferson Press Release Mountain Goats Fly Fishing Collaborative Water Time Outfitters Little Creek Outfitters FarBank Bauer Fly Reels Eric Neufeld


Camp Water

Camp water is close to home. Here you will find information on stuff happening here in the shop and on our local waters. You'll also find our weekly newsletter feature, Trailer Trash Thursday, a fun collection of fly fishing videos, perfect for a midweek distraction. If you don't get the newsletter, be sure to sign up today!

Feds Approve Limited Sea-Lion Removal on Willamette

Joel La Follette - Thursday, November 22, 2018

ODFW Press Release

Nov. 15, 2018

SALEM, Ore. – The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has approved the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s application to lethally remove the few California sea lions present at Willamette falls in an effort to help save winter steelhead and spring Chinook from extinction.

Sea lions are protected under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). On Oct. 6, 2017, ODFW applied for authorization to remove California sea lions at Willamette Falls under a provision of the MMPA that allows for limited lethal take of sea lions that are having a negative impact on protected fish species.

ODFW filed for the application because their analyses showed that the high levels of predation by sea lions (25% of the steelhead run in 2017) meant there was an almost 90% probability that one of the upper Willamette steelhead runs would go extinct. The level of predation on spring Chinook, although lower (7-9% annually), was still enough to increase the extinction risk by 10-15%.

The NMFS reached their decision after considering public comment on ODFW’s application as well as the recommendations of a 14-member stakeholder taskforce.

“This is good news for the native runs of salmon and steelhead in the Willamette River,” said Dr. Shaun Clements, ODFW policy analyst on the sea lion issue. “Before this decision, the state’s hands were tied as far as limiting sea lion predation on the Willamette River. We did put several years’ effort into non-lethal deterrence, none of which worked. The unfortunate reality is that, if we want to prevent extinction of the steelhead and Chinook, we will have to lethally remove sea lions at this location.”

Clements noted that this authorization will do nothing to help curb the recent influx of the much larger steller sea lions into the basin, or their impact on white sturgeon, a species that can live up to 100 years. “Steller sea lions are preying heavily on sturgeon in the lower Willamette but current federal law prohibits us from doing anything about that,” said Clements.

California sea lions in the U.S. are not listed as "endangered" or "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The most recent population estimate for the U.S. stock was 296,750 animals in 2016. ODFW requested and was granted authority to remove up to one percent of the population’s “potential biological removal” level, a metric that translates to a maximum of 93 animals a year on the lower Willamette. According to ODFW’s Marine Mammal Program Lead Dr. Shea Steingass, there are 50-100 animals that are present at the Falls at some point in the year.

“Removal of these sub-adult and adult males will have no impact on viability of the sea lion population but will greatly improve the outlook for threatened upper Willamette winter steelhead runs,” she said.

With federal authorization now in place, ODFW can move forward with plans to trap and remove sea lions from the Willamette. “We currently have up to 12 animals at the Falls and a majority of those have been seen here every year for the past 10 years” said Steingass.

ODFW will have to meet two federally-mandated criteria to remove an individual sea lion: it must be observed in the area between Willamette Falls and the mouth of the Clackamas River for two days, or be seen eating salmonids. Those sea lions captured on the Willamette by agency biologists will be transported to a secure facility and humanely euthanized by a veterinary staff. Staff will also perform a necropsy and collect samples to determine the age, health, and diet of the animal in an effort to better understand ecology and behavior of these animals. ODFW will continue to monitor sea lion predation at Willamette Falls, and report its findings to NMFS, which will decide in five years whether to renew ODFW’s authority.

Clements said the action is about striking a balance between the recovery of imperiled salmon and steelhead and the ongoing conservation of sea lions.

“We are trying to prevent a few individual sea lions from habituating to these areas that are hundreds of miles from the ocean where they are especially effective at driving already depleted fish populations further down the path to extinction,” he said. Predation by pinnipeds also threatens to undermine the gains made by significant regional investments in recovery efforts, such as improvements in fish passage at dams, restoration of fish habitat, and implementation of fishing regulations that prohibit anglers from harvesting wild fish.

The MMPA, unlike the ESA, has fewer tools for managers to use to balance the conservation of predators and prey and prevent these situations in locations where fish are most vulnerable. Sections of the MMPA were revised in 1994 to allow limited management of sea lions for the purpose of protecting ESA-listed salmon and steelhead. Unfortunately, the revisions do not allow for proactive management and cannot address emergencies like that occurring at Willamette Falls. In this regard, ODFW has been working with Oregon’s congressional delegation, which is working on a legislative solution that would give wildlife managers broader authority to deal with conservation problems if they arise elsewhere in the Columbia Basin. “I’m optimistic that we’ll get what we need from Congress, but also nervous that time is running out to get this done before the end of the congressional calendar,” said Clements.
Post has no comments.
Post a Comment

Captcha Image

Trackback Link
Post has no trackbacks.

Contact Us

21570 Willamette Drive West Linn, OR 97068

2014 Royal Treatment Fly Fishing
Privacy | Legal