Voracious sea lions invade the Columbia River

March 29, 2015

Thousands of hungry California sea lions and harbor seals have swarmed into the Columbia River seeking food. The more than 6,000 sea lions and seals have damaged docks and affected water quality. [GrindTV]

Columbia River sea lionsA marine mammal biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife photographed harbor seals and sea lions at the mouth of the Columbia last month.

Photo by Steve Jeffries

Photo by Steve Jeffries

Dwindling sardine populations, a sea lion diet staple, have prompted many older California sea lions to head north seeking food. Currently, during the smelt and salmon runs, the lower Columbia River has a relative abundance of food.

Meanwhile, in California, more than 1,600 starving sea lions have washed up on the shore this year with mre than 500 on the Central Coast.

Some scientists blame overpopulation. Historically, it was estimated approximately 40,000 sea lions lived in the waters off California, now that number has swelled to over 300,000.

Another theory is that climate change is to blame. Because of warmer ocean temperatures, dwindling fish populations have forced sea lion mothers to spend more time at sea hunting food while their babies are left behind.

 

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Jorge Estrada

As the seal population grows so with the Great White Shark population. This is the same for all food source increases. Lots of mice, more snakes, etc. If the shark population grows and their seal supply rapidly decreases, our waters will not just be a risk, it will be a feed frenzy for whatever enters the water. I would think twice before dressing up like a seal to go surfing.


Perspicacious

Well, now Oregon and CA have something in common. They are getting invaded by unwanted visitors from the south too.


nipomian

It’s long past time for volunteers in SLO County to stop rushing Sea Lions and Seals (that strand onshore) to the Marine Mammal Center in Morro Bay. Leave them alone or end their suffering quickly if they want to help. What don’t they get about overpopulation? Sea Lions and Seals are also helping to ruin the fishing industry on the CA coast. Now they’re polluting the Columbia River. Also, the ever increasing population of Elephant Seals near San Simeon needs to be thinned. They’ll soon be in Pismo Beach if something isn’t done to reduce their number. They’re sighted further south every year.


OnTheOtherHand

I agree with your statements except that it might be legally risky to take action to “end their suffering quickly.” It might be the most humane (or least inhumane) way of helping, but I suspect that it is against the law unless done by government-authorized people such as Fish and Game Wardens.


taxpayer

The population of sea lions doubles every 4 or 5 years. The Marine Mammal Protection Act is the worse thing that has happened to fisheries, clean water and clean beaches. This is not what a healthy ocean looks like.


Perspicacious

Yet another repercussion of the Bush presidency.


tomsquawk

absolutely; George really cared about that


ToHellinaHandBasket

“Another theory is that climate change is to blame”.


Global warming which it was once referred as, now “Climate change” [because it’s more PC, and appealing to the sheeple masses on the left], has been debunked time and time again. Do your own research.


Al Gore started this phenom when he lost his bid for President. He needed a job that he would make billions from because he didn’t want to follow in his dads footsteps of being a tobacco farmer which in fact has killed millions of people.


Millions more than “Climate change” ever will.


Maxfusion

Least we forget Mr. Gore’s zinc mine on his property in Tenn, and his environmental citations for polluting the Caney Fork river.


http://www.debatethis.org/gore/enviro/mining.html


OnTheOtherHand

Sorry, I am not sure where you get your mis-information but “Climate Change” (or whatever you want to call it) has not been debunked by any objective and credible sources. Even the DoD and some oil companies now recognize the reality. There may be some room for disagreement about how much is due to human causes, what the long-term effects may be and how rapidly those effects will come about but it exists. I am not a big Al Gore fan but the title of his movie “An Inconvenient Truth” was very accurate. Just because you would rather not face the consequences of preventing it or of dealing with it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.


If you want to do some research, check out the backgrounds and income sources of the supposed “debunkers.” The evidence is solid and the scientific support for it is near unanimous with the few dissenters being inexpert or having a financial interest in “proving” it wrong.


taxpayer

It’s way past time for the Marine Mammal Protection Act to be done away with.


Old Salt

Native Indians use to hunt Sea lions, harbor seals, and elephant seals and those furry Sea Otters for food and fur…That kept the populations down and allowed Abalone to reach adult size; Red abalone reached between 8 to 11-1/2 inches.

Also, Killer Whales use to be more abundant.


tomsquawk

this is what everyone is forgetting or never knew in the first place


taxpayer

Native Americans were a lot smarter than the Sierra Club.


tomsquawk

this is happening all up and down the coast from the Mexican border to all points north. now; we manage deer, elk, turkeys, ducks, etc…need i go on? time to manage these guys.


Zuma7

Too bad we can’t manage the human population in the same

ways.


taxpayer

If we managed the human population the same way we’re managing the sea lion population we’d have 9 times the number of citizens in the U.S.A. that we have now. The actual population of the U.S. has been shrinking for the last 7 years, excluding the illegal aliens coming across the border.