Two pieces of Oregon salmon news this week.
First, Oregon fisheries managers say it’s likely that anglers will be facing tighter restrictions this year in light of the dismal chinook returns predicted for the Pacific Northwest. According to an article in The Oregonian, biologists are considering reducing the bag limit from two fish to one this season. They also say salmon runs appear to be in poor shape up and down the Coast, but most severe in the south. Bad news for those of us who fish the Rogue, Elk and Sixes Rivers.
The second piece of news, NOAA has given Oregon the go ahead to shoot to kill on Sea Lions in the Columbia River. According to a press release from ODFW, sea lion predation on threatened salmon and steelhead stocks has increased significantly since 2001, despite three years of non-lethal hazing efforts below Bonneville Dam. Fishermen will likely be thrilled with the controversial decision, but salmon are facing a lot bigger hurdles than fat and sassy pinnipeds — unfavorable ocean conditions, warming river temps, overharvest and dams.