Apr 06,2007 00:00
Sea lions that gather near the mouth of the
Approximately 350 feet of barrier will be put up on local mooring docks to discourage sea lions from frequenting the boat basin and
The project is funded in part by a $20,000 grant from the ODFW's Fish Restoration and Enhancement Program. The Curry Sportfishing Association is contributing $38,212. In addition to the R&E Program grant, ODFW is contributing $30,399 to the project including hazing and barrier equipment, consultation and hazing monitoring. The National Marine Fisheries Service is providing $4,500.
Sea lion predation on runs of
“Many sea lions have learned that it is very easy to take a salmon off an angler’s line,” said Todd Confer, ODFW district fish biologist. “This resulted in a significant impact on the fishery that affected both local commercial fishers and sport anglers.”
The barriers, which consist of pipe barricades and motion-activated sprinklers, are part of a three-part effort that was implemented last year and includes: putting up barriers on docks and breakwaters to make it more difficult for sea lions to loiter in the boat basin; to remove fish carcasses from fish cleaning stations; and to haze sea lions from the estuary.
According to Curry Sportfishing Association president
“Last year’s hazing program was excellent,” said Lottis. “We couldn’t have hoped for better results.”
In 2005, between 50 and 75 percent of salmon that were hooked by anglers were taken from their lines by sea lions. The 2006 hazing program reduced that number to about five percent. The group expects to see similar results this year, with fewer sea lions lingering in the estuary and boat basin due to the additional barriers.
Created by the Oregon Legislature in 1989, the Fish Restoration and Enhancement Program is funded by a surcharge on sport and commercial fishing licenses and commercial poundage fees. The program’s seven-member citizen board reviews fish restoration and enhancement project proposals and makes funding recommendations to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission.