Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

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Will the removal of specific California sea lions from the Columbia River impact the overall sea lion population?

No. California sea lion numbers have grown rapidly since the 1970s and the species is now at "carrying capacity" - near the highest level the environment can sustain - according to wildlife biologists. The U.S. population of California sea lions is estimated at some 300,000 animals, all on the Pacific coast. By comparison, the overall Pacific coast population of California sea lions was 10,000 in the 1950s. An aerial survey conducted in 2011 by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife documented over 2,000 California sea lions on the South Jetty at the mouth of the Columbia River alone.



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Last Updated
14th of March, 2013

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