Stop Killing Sea Lions at the Bonneville Dam

  • by: Alicia Graef
  • target: Oregon Governor Kate Brown, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, National Marine Fisheries Service

This month the first six sea lions were trapped and killed at the Bonneville Dam by wildlife officials simply because they're eating salmon.

The trouble for sea lions in the Columbia River has been ongoing since 2008 when officials were granted the authority to lethally remove predatory sea lions, who would normally be protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Even though sea lions account for a miniscule fraction of salmon loss, officials have continued to target them instead of addressing the primary threats to salmon, including habitat loss and modification, water diversion, overfishing, driftnet fishing in the ocean, the introduction of non-native fish for recreational fishing and of course the dam itself.

Given wildlife agencies' own statements on the real threats to salmon, continuing to target sea lions for simply eating what they're supposed to be eating to stay alive, while allowing continued fishing of an endangered species is not a justifiable or effective approach to wildlife management or salmon conservation.

Please sign the petition urging officials to stop targeting sea lions in a misguided attempt to save salmon.

As someone who is concerned with wildlife and conservation issues, I was disturbed to learn that officials have already needlessly killed six California sea lions at the Bonneville Dam this year.


Even though sea lions account for a miniscule fraction of salmon loss, officials  continue to target them for lethal removal instead of addressing the primary threats to salmon, including habitat loss and modification, water diversion, overfishing, driftnet fishing, the introduction of non-native fish for recreational fishing and of course the dam itself.

More troubling is the Army Corps of Engineers' announcement of a plan that will allow for killing hundreds of birds, including gulls and cormorants, because they've also dared to consume fish.

Given wildlife agencies' own statements on main threats to salmon, continuing to target sea lions and birds for simply eating what they're supposed to be eating to stay alive, while allowing continued fishing of an endangered species is not a justifiable or effective approach to wildlife management or salmon conservation.


I sincerely hope you will reconsider the failed logic of lethal removal and stop targeting wildlife in the Columbia River Basin for engaging in natural behaviors in a misguided effort to restore salmon stocks.

Sign Petition

privacy policy

By signing, you accept Care2's terms of service.

Having problems signing this? Let us know.