Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

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Why are California sea lions a concern on the Columbia River?

Since 2002, California sea lions in the Columbia River have been taking a significant toll on endangered and threatened stocks of salmon and steelhead listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Sea lion predation occurs throughout the lower river system, but the problem is especially acute below Bonneville Dam where returning salmon and steelhead congregate as they prepare to move up the dam's fish ladders to spawn upstream. Sea lions also prey on mature sturgeon below Bonneville Dam, and on listed salmon and steelhead runs in the Willamette River and other tributaries to the Columbia River.



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Last Updated
14th of March, 2013

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