I would like to respond to the question that Ron Malast had in his Fish and Feathers column asking what the director of Fish and Wildlife and the local state legislators are doing in regards to the sea lions on the Columbia River. I found that an interesting question as I was on the phone to the director discussing this issue just before I went to the mailbox to pick up my Chinook Observer.
There are many of us that believe that the time has come to use lethal means to control the sea lion population in the river. The department is in the process of initiating section 120 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. This is the section that allows lethal takings. I can tell you that this will be a long process. Whether or not you agree with the act, it is very difficult to justify lethal means to control marine mammals to the federal agencies.
As it was presented to me by the director it will take cooperation with both Idaho, Oregon and the Indian tribes if this means of control is going to be used. I am willing to support the director in this or any other measures that it takes to protect our salmon runs.
State Rep. 19th District