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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I'll just apologize in advance if I offend or step on anyone's fishing boots.
I can't help but notice all the animosity towards the annoying critters know as sea lions or seals.
My take is this. We are preditors, they are preditors. Salmon are prey, and they are caught in the middle. Seals are opportunistic feeders just like we humans are. Any living thing that has the brain capacity to think or reason is also. Unfortunately we are in a position now that seals have been forced to share their invironment with us. I have to think that they have been around chasing salmon nearly as long as salmon have been around. Due to the conditions of the depleted salmon runs and all the opportunites we give them to feed, with tethered fish, dams, and much else, they are doing what any other animal would do in their circumstance.
Maybe 500 years ago they could live in their more natural environment in the salt and feed on the millions of salmon and other food sources that thrived here back then, before we came. Today, we are faced with competing with them in the rivers as they follow the easy groceries. I for one just live with them. I consider myself lucky to have the Columbia to fish in. Still have salmon to fish for, however short the "season" is. I am lucky we have some amazing sea life that still thrives in our waters. We've done a pretty good job of laying waste to many, many species thanks to our greed and ignorance. As much as they are an annoyance, I'm grateful they're around.They are a barometer of nature. When they are gone, so will be the salmon as well as countless other living natural resources we enjoy. I hope a day does'nt come when my grandkids say. "hey, remember when there where even seals swimming around out here" Until then, I just try to outwit Mr. sea lion on his turf, but it's sure not easy.
Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, no I'm not a PETAphile, I hunt, fish, eat meat, wear leather, love my country, and pay taxes too.
I'm just trying to look at the really big picture here....

Now I hope I still get an invite for an open seat some time.

[ 04-10-2003, 04:02 PM: Message edited by: greenbuttskunk ]
 

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You can fill an empty seat on my boat anytime. I too enjoy all of the wildlife this country has. Although it really does suck to have seal or sealion take a salmon or even crab bait for that matter. The difference is the seals are trying to survive, I'm just trying to have some fun and enjoy the outdoors. I have had the experience of having a sealion strip my reel (and salmon), and honestly it is still one of my best fish stories......the BIG one that got away, it would have been kind of hard to do catch and release on him anyway.

It is all part of the great northwest experience. Enjoy it while we can, it may not always be like this.

Scott
 

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Same for me, if the sea lion gets my fish it really wasn't my fish yet. I have to net the salmon before it is mine. Now, if mr herschel jumps into the boat, clamps down on a freshly bonked salmon and returns to the river I am going to be pretty unhappy!!!!

Just out of curiosity - what percentage of fish hooked does everyone estimate you have had taken by a seal/sea lion?
 

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I have only ever had one fish taken, but I have been witness to many taken at Pacific City. It's pretty comical some times, I watched a seal beach a salmon, the funny part was the salmon came right between this guys legs that hooked it, beached itself on the boatramp, and the seal popped up right in front of the fisherman, that was one very surprised fisherman to say the least, I think his waders saved the water from being contaminated! :grin:

Scott
 

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I have no problem with the sea lions. Even played tug-o-war with one over a salmon last week. I actually won that battle. I am encouraged when I see them in the river. They wouldn't be there if their were not fish around.
 

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500 years before we came, the native people hunted sea lions for food, fur, and fuel.

The sea lions mostly lived in the ocean and stayed around rocks, which were difficult for the natives to reach.

Salmon thrived in the bays and rivers, since any seal, which might venture into the bay would be hunted.

If you look at the history books, the pioneers found so many salmon, that they could nearly "walk across the river on the backs of salmon". The common fishing implement was a pitchfork.

I remember many people catching salmon in Netarts Bay in the 60's, and never a seal was found in the bay, until the government protected seals from being hunted in 1968.

Now, Netarts Bay is home to about 200 seals, and fishing for salmon is outlawed.

So, now the government is perplexed with trying to protect seals and restore the salmon runs. :whazzup:

Cheerio'
Skipper
 

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Well Said GBS. We fish for Entertainment they fish for survival. As far as the decline in Salmon, I think MAN has had a lot more to do with it than any of natures Forces or Creatures.
 

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Not to offend but I am for more salmon and less seals and sealions.
 

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I've gotta go with the "man's the problem" line of thinking. All those salmon before we showed up, despite the presence of both pinnepeds and Native Americans. 150 years later, salmon are in trouble,and it's oh so handy to blame the pinnepeds (seals and sea lions) instead of looking at basic habitat issues like pollution, agricultural and forestry practices. Co-incidentally Stellar Sea Lions (the kind we have very few of) are also in trouble - and this also looks like it might be an overfishing issue, commercial guys are just out- competing the Stellars. Controlling pinneped numbers is pretty short sighted.

Take a trip to Alaska, and visit a place like Kegan creek on Prince of Wales island. Lots of salmon, lots of habitat, modest numbers of seals around the creek entrance, and darn few humans. Nature in balance.
 

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Skipper,

If you look at the history books, the pioneers found so many salmon, that they could nearly "walk across the river on the backs of salmon".
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">If you look further in the history books you'll see a huge number of seals, sea lions also.

They've taken the same population hit the salmon have suffered because they've been hunted to near extinction as have their natural food, the salmon, just as the salmon's natural food anchovies, sardines etc have taken hits.

Solution is mo'krill, mo'salmon habitat, mo'water for salmon spawning, mo'anchovie/sardine, mo'seals/sea lions, mo'killer whales...and of course..mo'salmon.

Brion
 

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And if we looked further back, before their were history books, you would see that salmon and sea lions co-existed. It was all part of the food chain. Sea lions did not overharvest the fish. They just ate what they needed. Yeah, it's just the belly, and to us it seems like a waste. However, I urge you to watch Iron Chef on FoodTV and you will see that many of the things we throw out when we "clean" a fish end up in very expensive dishes.

Humans need to learn to coexist better.

[ 04-10-2003, 06:43 PM: Message edited by: The Fishing Geek ]
 

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I have no problems with sea lions/seals per say, it is the way humans are “trying” to keep the balance that I see as the problem. If humans want to create “a balance” you need to look at the whole picture. You can’t allow one species population to ramp up {Sea lions for example} toward “historical” numbers with out human intervention while others have been altered and subject to the “present day” populations.

In all states Fish and Game try to keep this “balance” in the mammal population by one year culling the herd when the populations are strong and reducing the take when they are not so abundant. In Yellow Stone Park where they have successfully introduced the wolf. Theses wolves are protected by law, But…if a problem arises within the population they deal with it {if you don’t believe me it is all on record at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services web site} and I believe in the case of our seal/sea lion population something needs to be done. With relatively little predation seal populations will continue to increases each year.

I do not believe an all out war on the seal population is called for, but if you want to “manage” the natural resources as a whole you can’t subject 99% of the recourse to human intervention and allow 1% free reign, and still expect a balance.

OK……let me have it
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
no need to let you have it, I do agree with you. Man has created a mess and the biggest issue is to find a way to balance and manage the invironment we've now created. Like another said, early indians
hunted them for food, clothing, and whatever else they could to utilize the animal. Maybe that helped maintain the balance. I'm not against culling, it probably has to be done again, like in the 60's. Would be nice to think the animals bodies could be used, instead of wasted, but that's niave thinking.
I guess my point I was trying to make in simplest
terms was " let's not blame them, when we are to blame". I do hope there is a solution out there.
 

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:parity: i,m a new member and i just want to express my opinion on seal and sealions.I dont say we should kill all seals&seallions but i object to them being in the rivers where they can eat salmon and steelhead with out any problem. when ever they are around the boats the fish are too worried about the sealions to be interested in your plug or bait.ive seen them so close to the boats that you shouldnt hold your breath hoping for a takedown while there around.
they are not a freshwater animal and i dont want them in the river ,up to the dam .the state of WA.already had a problem with them eating most of the steelhead at the dam near lake washington and tried some dumb ideas,like rubber killerwhales and trapping them on floating docks with cages on them and moving them out of the area. that didnt stop then at all.
i just dont want them in the river at all. i dont care if they were in the river a 100 or so years ago. hope you can accept my opinion/
 

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Welcome Fish-bones!! It is a custom on this site that all newcomers tell a fishing story......where's yours? :shrug: Just start a new thread with your story, and we'll all join in reading it :grin:
 

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I'm certainly not going to fight a seal or sealion for any fish....they can be downright vicious! I think it's a real ripoff when they follow a fish up to the boat and make off with it. Guess I'll not only have to fight the fish, but it's natural enemy, too, and reel a tad bit faster! :shocked:

I'd like to hear Fish-bones "newbie" story, too!!
 
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