Tuesday April 25, 2023

The Reflector

After seals and sea lions were spotted 70 miles up the Cowlitz River last week, anglers, lawmakers and state officials expressed concern for one of Washington’s most precious, most delicate natural resources: Chinook salmon.

Tacoma Public Utilities, which owns the Barrier Dam in Salkum where the pinnipeds (fin-footed mammals) were spotted, reported the creatures hadn’t been seen that far up the river in years.

With that news, Washington Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Benjamin Anderson told The Reflector the agency is researching potential non-lethal deterrence actions for the Cowlitz River, especially near the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery.

The stinky, barking swimmers have even drawn federal attention as recently as this week.

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