Last winter a mere 512 ESA-Listed, wild winter steelhead passed over Willamette falls to spawn in their natal streams. Sadly, a minimum of 25% of this historic low return was consumed by male sea lions staged at the base of the falls, where the steelhead are delayed as they seek passage over the falls.
Only 10 years ago, winter steelhead where showing signs of recovery and meeting several of the criteria for delisting. But with 10 years of increasing male sea lion presence at the base of the falls, the probability of extinction is approaching 90% for one of the Willamette winter steelhead populations and excessively high for the others.
At NSIA, we are convinced that if the Marine Mammal protection act is not fixed, we will suffer the heart break of Willamette winter steelhead going extinct on our watch.
A bi-partisan bill in the House of Representatives, HR 2083 was introduced by Reps. Herrera Beutler (R-WA) and Schrader (D-OR). Now, the steelhead need a bipartisan bill in the Senate. On August 2, Senator Risch (R) Idaho, introduced S 1702. Please write today and to ask the Senators in OR and WA to work collaboratively with Senator Risch to ensure that the professional managers have the tools they need to prevent extinctions.
Use this link to find the email address for your US Senators. We especially need Senators Wyden, Merkley, Murray and Cantwell to work with Senator Risch on a solution that will adjust the Marine Mammal Protection Act to provide managers with the tools they need to protect critical fish populations and healthy marine mammal populations. Please write today!
nsia_sea lion_infographic FINAL_8_7_17