The Seattle Times —
Approval to kill up to 840 sea lions in a portion of the Columbia River and its tributaries over the next five years to boost the survival of salmon and steelhead at risk of extinction is expected from federal officials Friday.
The kill program has been in the works since Congress approved a change in the Marine Mammal Protection Act in 2018, allowing sea lions to be killed to reduce predation on salmon and other species.
The legislation for the first time allows the killing of Steller’s sea lions, in addition to California sea lions, and makes any of the marine mammals fair game within a nearly 200 mile stretch of the mainstem Columbia and its tributaries, between Bonneville and McNary dams. Previously, only California sea lions that had been determined to be problematic predators of salmon were allowed to be killed to benefit fish recovery.