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JHB and Guides

Posted on 30th May 2018 at 08:58

Looking for some grassroots support for her Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Protection Act, Third District Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler met yesterday with several professional fishing guides, looking for personal stories about the impacts of increased sea lion numbers on their industry. Beutler says that it’s very difficult to communicate the damage being done to local salmon runs, and she says that we’re on the brink of losing the salmon and the sea lions. Beutler met with a half-dozen local fishing guides, who talked about how sea lion numbers have increased over the past decade, to the point where “colonies” of sea lions are setting up camp along the main stem of the Columbia. The guides say that the current hazing program isn’t working, since it doesn’t actually provide any negative feedback to the sea lions. The guides say that more aggressive measures are needed, and they say that the sea lions need to see these measures first-hand, so that they understand that the Columbia River is not where they should be. Beutler says that her bill would not necessarily increase the number of sea lions that could be lethally removed from the river, it would simply streamline the process for identifying and removing problem animals. Beutler says she’s hoping for a floor vote on the bill in August.