NOAA Fisheries released a report yesterday stating that sea lion populations have rebounded to new highs and are now at their “optimum sustainable population”. As discussed in a prior post, sea lions have become a significant threat to some anadromous fish populations. Hopefully this finding will allow some action to protect threatened steelhead and salmon populations.
“The species maintained OSP levels even when small numbers of adult males were being removed to protect salmon runs in the Columbia River and climate events were depressing growth. That suggests that the removal of a limited number of sea lions in such programs is unlikely to affect the population as a whole.”