- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
Wildlife officials are tracking and euthanizing sea lions that they believe eat too many fish.
Officials in Oregon believe they have tried everything to stop sea lions from eating too many endangered salmon. They have run interferences, dropped explosives, shot rubber bullets and more in an effort to deter the swift swimming sea lion from its ferocious focus to find fish for food or at least be selective in what it eats.
Officials are currently following 63 sea lions that have been observed eating Chinook salmon and are not responding to government hazing methods. Last year, it was decided that euthanasia would be the next step for these rowdy beasts and 11 animals were put down. Four more were sent to zoos.
Sea lions were placed on the endangered or protected list in 1972. However, states are allowed an exemption.
Meanwhile, it is reported that Columbia River fisheries managers are predicting that the 2010 spring salmon run will be the largest since 1938. They said ocean conditions have been great and they expect 470,000 fish to make the spawning run compared to 169,300 last year.
So, as I understand these reports, we have two species that are on the endangered list. That means they are in danger of extinction and we humans want to stop that from happening. Currently, there are so many of each of these species that they are following their natural life cycles by running up rivers in record numbers while running a gauntlet of natural predators that have been hunting for thousands of years. Meanwhile, we will spend money and resources to track these species and try to tell them what to eat, how many and when or else we will kill them.
Seems to me that nature should be allowed to do what is natural whenever it can.