Gluesenkamp Perez, Local Officials Tour Bonneville Dam Sea Lion Management Program
Last week, Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-03) led a group of local officials, stakeholders, and state agencies in touring the Bonneville Dam sea lion management program in response to recent reports detailing sightings of pinnipeds as far as 70 miles up the Columbia River tributaries.
California sea lions and Steller sea lions were first spotted at the Bonneville Dam in the early 2000s and pose a direct threat to fish populations that inhabit the river – including threatened steelhead and endangered salmon.
During the tour, Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez visited management facilities, discussed the successes and challenges of the current program, and learned what additional support is needed to control pinniped populations in the Columbia River basin.
“We need to be using every tool at our disposal – including lethal and nonlethal methods – to control pinniped populations and preserve Southwest Washington’s fisheries and the tributaries that sustain them,” said Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez. “I want to thank the people on the ground working day in and day out on this program, and I’ll continue pushing to get the program the funding and support it needs.”
Earlier this year, Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez requested the House Appropriations Committee dedicate at least $400,000 for non-lethal pinniped removal technology and at least $1 million for lethal pinniped removal efforts.