Wildlife officials in Oregon have begun killing California sea lions that eat too much of a vulnerable type of fish.
Three sea lions were killed last week as part of a conservation effort to protect steelheads from the Willamette River in the winter, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.
A federal license from the National Marine Fisheries Service allows officials to kill up to 93 California Sea Lions each year after the failure of attempts to trap and relocate 1,000-pound animals.
Sea lions eat so many fish in the river near Portland, Oregon, that trout may disappear.
A historic record of 512 wild Steelheads in winter survived the trek past Willamette Falls, a grim comparison with the more than 15,000 fish recorded by the state less than 30 years ago.
Trout move from interior rivers to become adult teats in the Pacific Ocean before returning to the rivers to breed, noted Good Politic.
Sea lions breed in southern California and northern Mexico during the summer, before males head north to the Pacific coast for food.
Wildlife protection officials attempted to move about a dozen dog – headed sea lions last year, but the animals returned to the falls to capture more steelheads.
Sea lions can be killed if they eat at least one steelhead near Willamette Falls between November 1 and August 15 or have been spotted along the same stream for two consecutive days, Good Politic reported. .
Bryan Wright, Head of the Marine Resources Program at the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Department, told the point-of-sale that the state had to pre-notify a zoo or aquarium about the presence of the sea lion They must hold one for 48 hours before killing him.
Sea lions are euthanized by a veterinarian by lethal injection, indicates the point of sale.
The animal itself is endangered after decades of hunting for its thick density. Their population has increased considerably since the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act, from 30,000 in the 1960s to about 300,000 today.