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Columbia River Sea Lion and Sea Problem

Harbor Seals at Astoria, Oregon

A recent CRITFC survey of pinnipeds (sea lions and seals) in the lower Columbia River found this colony of about 6,400 harbor seals at the mouth of the river. The seals and sea lions are taking advantage of a high smelt run this year. It is unclear what the effects of this explosion in pinniped numbers will have on the salmon run.

Photo courtesy Steve Jeffries, WDFW