ODFW seeks permit to euthanize Willamette Falls sea lions - KPTV - FOX 12

ODFW seeks permit to euthanize Willamette Falls sea lions

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The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is looking for the green light to euthanize sea lions at Willamette Falls.

The move comes as fishermen and sea lions are competing for Chinook salmon as they make their run.

This plan challenges the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which was put in place in 1972 in an attempt to protect a variety of threatened species, including whales, dolphins, polar bears, seals and sea lions.

While sea lions had not been an issue at the falls in the past, officials say that over the last 10 -15 years fishermen have noted the problem has significantly grown, with the largest sea lion population ever seen currently there.

An ODFW official told FOX 12 the application was created because those sea lions are eating large amounts of the endangered salmon.

At this point, the department is in the early stages of applying for permits. The application process is expected to take 1 - 2 months to complete, and a decision from Washington D.C. should come sometime in 2018.

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