Recent Posts


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


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.

Contact Us

21570 Willamette Drive West Linn, OR 97068

2014 Royal Treatment Fly Fishing
Privacy | Legal