Recent Posts


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


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