Mixed Feeling About Killing Sea Lions

Gyrfalcon21

Honoring Vets
Man has punched so many holes in the ecosystem, add climate change -natural and manipulated..heck.. evolution of creatures that can't keep up with the speed of change..disappearing niches.

First sea lions, next we'd be killing the salmon eating Orcas, then we'd find an insect to eradicate because it competes too efficiently with coho fingerlings favorite food of choice.
Top it off with rivers having the wrong rock and substrate, empty the natural rock and barge some in from Egypt...or China.

We'll find a way to mess it up.

This is not going to end in a happy place as long as humans keep breeding at the clip they are now.

Going to be some very short and interesting field guide books in the future unless we have less humans here to be reading them.
 
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GAT

Dumbfounded
The dams are certainly a contributing factor in the problem... but there is no way in hell the dams will ever be removed. I guess there is no other solution than killing the sea lions. It's just sad that it had to come down to such drastic measures.
 

Gyrfalcon21

Honoring Vets
We need to stop eating things we want more of. Quit eating whales? They do fine. Hang around Japan or Norway, Whale? you might get eaten!

Salmon and Steelhead need to become passe' to our palates.
 

Salmo_g

WFF Supporter
It's just sad that it had to come down to such drastic measures.

What's drastic about it? When too many mice invade your barn and munch on the grain you store there, you get some cats and place mouse traps. Much of life is about perception. Perceive a problem and set about managing it.

Now it's a whole 'nuther thing to get holistic about the matter. Define your desired future condition. Identify pathways and obstacles to that condition. Undertake actions to move down the pathway and treat the obstacles until you arrive at that desired future condition. At which point the future has arrived, I guess.
 

Gyrfalcon21

Honoring Vets
Humans are just a blip in time- either as individuals or as a bipedal experiment. No one talks about Dodo birds anymore much. 10,000 years from now, Great White Sharks won't be remembering much about poor swimming humans either.

Sort of like the upcoming election. I have my vote well made up. And, as to my time left here, going to walk around and appreciate what the wonder of life is, at this second, and not look too far ahead.

These are probably the best of times. Catch a wild fish. Remember them.
 

gt

Active Member
I have no mixed feelings. Humans are not altruists. For better or worse, we manage the planet to suit our interests. Whether we want the dams or not, we want the things the energy from dams provides us. Except for some designated wilderness areas, we manage the animal species across most of the planet, either directly or indirectly. I think we even want sea lions. But how many and at what cost to other resources that we also want? Sea lions are only a problem because we perceive their consequential predation on salmon as taking a step too far. Cuz we sure as heck want salmon, probably even more than we want sea lions. That being the case, we should manage sea lions. In fact, it was the management of sea lions through the Marine Mammal Protection Act that led to their present increased abundance that then led to excessive salmon predation. Culling excess sea lions is just the next step of human hubris at controlling nature, something we are not very good at, but have gotten ourselves into the fix of having to attempt it just the same.
if they had not killed these predators on the Willamette at the falls, the meager runs of steelhead and salmon would have gone extinct. the marine mammal protection act had unexpected consequences and the abundance of these huge mammals is the result. they used to follow my boat waiting for the DR to unclip, a quick dive and an easy meal. if there had not been so many people out there, well i don't want to say. i just remember in the past the troll fleet would not take kindly to any predators in their complex spreads and every now and then you would hear the 30-30 go off. no one thought much about that and they should not now.
 

jasmillo

WFF Supporter
Yes, humans are another predator that existed and do not any longer. You can probably make the argument that we have as big an effect with other things we do. Even with all the protection, we alter the environment enough that there is likely a detrimental impact in some way.

Not sure about transient whale populations. I assume but do not know for sure they are down historically. Last I looked into it, tough to figure that out but like most things, again, industrialization probably was not good for them.

Sharks pops are down too. Doubt great whites had much of an impact on PS pinnipeds though.

In the end it is chokepoints that are the issue. Something has to be done there and culling is probably the only answer.

I just caution against the humans manage argument. Easy out and history has shown we do a piss poor job at it. Not saying we cannot do a better job of it.

BTW, if we want to cull the pinnipeds population, shut down hatcheries. Wild fish are not going to sustain these population levels. We are throwing a bunch of seed out in the yard and are getting mad that the birds are eating it before we can see our nice green grass.

In the end there would be no need to plant seed in the first place if humans were not such horrible stewards. Incredibly bright to be able to manipulate our environment the way we do and incredibly dull when it comes to understanding and caring about the long term ramifications of it. This situation is a bad human plan causing the need for another bad human plan. Keep building on shit and you get a bigger pile of.....shit.

I am as guilty as the next guy. Love to fish and enjoy eating it so not on my soap box here. Just saying we need to be a bit more thoughtful as a species to what we are really doing.

We are not managing anything. Kind of egotistical to think we are. We are manipulating..... and doing so poorly.
 

Salmo_g

WFF Supporter
We are not managing anything.

Yeah, actually we are managing. Taking actions to effect outcomes is managing. Whether the management is good or bad depends on perception, the actual result, and the intended result.

What if culling sea lions is actually good management? If we just let it go, sea lions and various seal populations will eventually reach a peak. And if they follow common predator-prey relationships, they will over forage and then collapse their own populations. That course of events could result in a lot more inconvenient and undesired outcomes than will occur from culling the population to keep it in bounds that be supported by ESA-listed salmon and steelhead that we also care about and are allegedly trying to recover.

In ecology there is no SHOULD BE way of things. It just is . . . whatever it is. So we define it in human terms. Ecosystems are always in flux and changing. Anthropogenic effects have caused many major population changes on the planet, apparently including the extintion of woolly mammoths by our spear wielding ancestors. And we're still making changes. The difference is that now we have a better understanding of ecosystems, causes and effects, and understand that it's generally preferable to treat root causes than symptoms. And sometimes, treating symptoms, like culling sea lions, is the most viable option available. Not the only option, but the most viable.
 
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_WW_

Geriatric Skagit Swinger
WFF Supporter
Okay...so this thread is full of some long, (and probably very informative) posts and I admit I read very little of them. Just know that all this holistic, altruistic, cute and cuddly bit is fine and dandy until one those fuckers tries to climb into your boat. Then it becomes a fight for survival.
 

KerryS

Ignored Member
Okay...so this thread is full of some long, (and probably very informative) posts and I admit I read very little of them. Just know that all this holistic, altruistic, cute and cuddly bit is fine and dandy until one those fuckers tries to climb into your boat. Then it becomes a fight for survival.
Been there...got one hung up in a gill net. Damn thing was trashing the stern of our boat until we finally had to uuuu, eliminate it.
 
B

bennysbuddy

Okay...so this thread is full of some long, (and probably very informative) posts and I admit I read very little of them. Just know that all this holistic, altruistic, cute and cuddly bit is fine and dandy until one those fuckers tries to climb into your boat. Then it becomes a fight for survival.
nothing compares to going out on deck of a berring sea crabber & meeting a sea lion that hitched a ride, those bastards move surprisingly fast.
 

jasmillo

WFF Supporter
Yeah, actually we are managing. Taking actions to effect outcomes is managing. Whether the management is good or bad depends on perception, the actual result, and the intended result.

What if culling sea lions is actually good management? If we just let it go, sea lions and various seal populations will eventually reach a peak. And if they follow common predator-prey relationships, they will over forage and then collapse their own populations. That course of events could result in a lot more inconvenient and undesired outcomes than will occur from culling the population to keep it in bounds that be supported by ESA-listed salmon and steelhead that we also care about and are allegedly trying to recover.

In ecology there is no SHOULD BE way of things. It just is . . . whatever it is. So we define it in human terms. Ecosystems are always in flux and changing. Anthrogenic effects have caused many major population changes on the planet, apparently including the extintion of woolly mammoths by our spear wielding ancestors. And we're still making changes. The difference is that now we have a better understanding of ecosystems, causes and effects, and understand that it's generally preferable to treat root causes than symptoms. And sometimes, treating symptoms, like culling sea lions, is the most viable option available. Not the only option, but the most viable.

Yeah, and what is manipulation? An action with the intent of disrupting the outcome.

I am no human dictionary but management to me is an action with the intent of directing, to the best of our knowledge, the the most holistically sound option.

Just like managing people (which I do), manipulation through force and intimidation is effective, efficient..... and extraordinarily short sighted.

I never once said outcomes of our so called “management practices” could not be potentially “beneficial”. You been around awhile. Say it with me, a broken clock.... However, how do you define that? What timeframe? Make it simpler...what measurement? The population of pinnipeds in PS today? Hmmm.....is that the measurement of “success”? In other words, would a collapsing pinniped population in PS be a fail? Considering the state of our wild fisheries, I would emphatically say NO. It should fail. They should not be as prolific as they are. We should not have to cull them.

But......we need to. And why? Because of another short sighted approach. Harvest as much as you want and artificially replace. Fine. An ecosystem will adapt if we artificially replace the same way for millions of years at the cost of....what was it 70+ million dollars a year in just WA to keep salmon fisheries somewhat viable?

I understand where you are coming from. I think culling is needed....UNFORTUNATELY.

We are NOT managing though. There is no long term outlook, no consideration of the interconnected variables driving ecosystem viability. Just a short term outlook to keep tax payers and voters happy. Nobody wants to manage. 1. Because I think it would require medium term pain. 2. Because our capacity it think through an ecosystem as complex as ours is minimal. What is the solution. Minimize our impact and let millions of years of evolution dictate the outcome. How about this; be respectful of earth, more than money, more than votes and see what happens 1,000 years from now. No instant gratification in that though. Nobody to hit the like button.....

True management will come in the shape of Covid-19’s angrier, bigger, really pissed off sibling and when it shows, it will rip us all a great big bloody new a$$hole.

For now, we can use our ability to manipulate the environment and sleep soundly at night thinking all is well, our obvious superiority, made in the image of “god” brains know all the answers....or don’t know all the answers but we are just ants doing our thing in this world, right?
 

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