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Legislation would restore spring-run Chinook and other fish populations through better management of sea lions

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) today introduced the Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act. The legislation would amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to give state and tribal managers more flexibility in addressing predatory sea lions in the Columbia River system that are threatening both ESA-listed salmon and steelhead.

 “Salmon consumption at the Bonneville Dam is five times what it was five years ago, and threatened and endangered species of salmon are being damaged by sea lions in the Columbia River,” said Senator Risch.

There are 32 populations of ESA threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead being significantly harmed by the increasing sea lion population. This predation of ESA-listed fish is negating the large investments being spent on salmon recovery associated with habitat, dam operations, harvest, and hatcheries. 

If enacted, this bill would amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to provide for better management of these invasive, non-listed sea lions.