From OPB: Oregon wildlife managers are trapping sea lions at Willamette Falls and trucking them out to the coast in an effort to protect a very fragile run of steelhead.
Biologists estimate the sea lions at Willamette Falls are eating at least a quarter of the winter steelhead run. At that rate, they say, there’s about a 90 percent chance at least one population of the fish will go extinct.
Bryan Wright, a biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the state is waiting for federal approval to kill sea lions at Willamette Falls. In the meantime, they’re moving as many sea lions as they can to the coast.
“Everyone knows it’s not a long-term fix,” he said. “It’s barely a short-term fix. … But right now, it’s the only tool we have, and it does save about three steelhead per day according to our estimates.”