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Yes. Seal, seal lion, cormorant, merganser and Caspian tern populations have all exploded over the past thirty years. And guess what? They all eat juvenile salmon and steelhead. It blows my mind that people and the WDFW are just now starting to realize this.

Thank you for providing the link tallguy. Hopefully the WDFW and tribes will finally recognize this huge problem and start taking appropriate actions.
 

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Should be fun to hear the answers forthcoming. The non-human fingerpointing as always.

Guess what? When the food chain is slightly changed, it all goes out of whack. Can be geologic, climatic, or because of predators (humans are the top predator to blame on the planet).
Nothing has exploded more than the human population and it's effects on the natural food cycle -it is all out of whack. Add the blob and degraded streams.

Man, seal and tern are all fighting over the scraps of the runs left.
 

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Should be fun to hear the answers forthcoming. The non-human fingerpointing as always.

Guess what? When the food chain is slightly changed, it all goes out of whack. Can be geologic, climatic, or because of predators (humans are the top predator to blame on the planet).
Nothing has exploded more than the human population and it's effects on the natural food cycle -it is all out of whack. Add the blob and degraded streams.

Man, seal and tern are all fighting over the scraps of the runs left.
I agree, but unless you can control the human population then it is an irrelevant issue.

People always wonder why PS salmon and steelhead runs started crashing hard in the 80's, while at the same time hatchery fish survival plummeted also. Obviously habitat plays a big role but overabundance of predators plays a huge role in the decline of our salmon and steelhead runs as well. The latter we can control just as we have in the past.
 

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I agree, but unless you can control the human population then it is an irrelevant issue.

People always wonder why PS salmon and steelhead runs started crashing hard in the 80's, while at the same time hatchery fish survival plummeted also. Obviously habitat plays a big role but overabundance of predators plays a huge role in the decline of our salmon and steelhead runs as well. The latter we can control just as we have in the past.
Very true. Humans are here to stay if we have anything to say about it : )

I think my point is, everytime man does something to "correct" nature, it backfires. Kill coyotes? More take their place. Bigger litters. An empty niche is nature's opportunity to fill it in a way that usually works-has for millions of years. Who knows what comes next? Man-eating Carp? Not a bad idea actually !

I have also always thought that anytime there is a culling of anything, it should NOT be a new open season for the public, a sportsman's group to exploit. Open Wolf season is one. It turns into a reason and mentality to make money for Cabelas and guides-who do not have balance of nature in mind, but balance of bank account $ and wallmounts.

I truly feel the lower 48 continental salmon and steelhead runs are doomed in the near future.
Sad.
 

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The command of the obvious. It really is stunning how these 'facts' come to the surface. Some things just don't require a high IQ or a bunch of expensive studies. Just pay attention for a bit. Remember all the shit about Herschel? Poor fucking sea lion. Then they realized that there were lots of them. All down in the Columbian. Up at the dams. If that wasn't a clear sign I don't know what would have been
 

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unless you can control the human population
I'm actually surprised a serious pandemic hasn't happened yet with how much travel happens every day. We're always just a mutation or two away from "population control"...
On a less doomsday-ish note: Gimme some mo'fuggin affordable male birth control! I could see that contributing to a drop in the birth rate, at least in 1st world countries.
 

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Yes. Seal, seal lion, cormorant, merganser and Caspian tern populations have all exploded over the past thirty years. And guess what? They all eat juvenile salmon and steelhead. It blows my mind that people and the WDFW are just now starting to realize this.

Hopefully the WDFW and tribes will finally recognize this huge problem and start taking appropriate actions.
These new studies (also this one from 2013) provide helpful confirmation for what many have suspected, but neither WDFW, the tribes or certain lawmakers are "just starting to realize this" (One example). Even if it may seem that way from the outside.

What's much more difficult than confirming marine mammal predation in Puget Sound (or the lower Columbia) is doing anything about it with the Marine Mammal Protection Act and powerful special interest groups willing to lobby to see that no hairs or feathers are harmed on the heads of sea lions, seals, cormorants, etc.

If you really want to reduce this significant problem, call your Congressperson and figure out a way to get around the PETA/HSUS/Sea Shepherd/Audubon lobby. I'm all ears.
 

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These new studies (also this one from 2013) provide helpful confirmation to what many have suspected, but neither WDFW, the tribes or certain lawmakers are "just starting to realize this" (One example). Even if it may seem that way from the outside.

What's much more difficult than confirming marine mammal predation in Puget Sound (or the lower Columbia) is doing anything about it with the Marine Mammal Protection Act and powerful special interest groups willing to lobby to see that no hairs or feathers are harmed on the heads of sea lions, seals, cormorants, etc.

If you really want reduce this significant problem, call your Congressperson and figure out a way to get around the PETA/HSUS/Sea Shepherd/Audubon lobby. I'm all ears.
Issues about predation here in PS are not unique to PS. On Cape Cod the predation by seals has crippled the fishing industry and now the great whites are moving into the Cape to hunt the seals. Please see the video in the following link:
 

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I'm actually surprised a serious pandemic hasn't happened yet with how much travel happens every day. We're always just a mutation or two away from "population control"...
On a less doomsday-ish note: Gimme some mo'fuggin affordable male birth control! I could see that contributing to a drop in the birth rate, at least in 1st world countries.
Mumps right now in Seattle area is along those lines right now
 

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That's probably good I'm guessing.
I should also add that the fishing industry as well as recreational fisher people have strenuously complained about the seals predation. The response has been to assert that the seals eat sand eels. My experience and others is different.When you see a large seal take a 3 foot+ striper and eat the back off like a cob of corn and then swallow the rest head first, I wonder if the fishery people ever had used their eyes.
 

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I certainly don't what what the answer is and agree that far too often mankind tries to offset a problem and creates unexpected troubles in return. It sure seems like predation is out of control. Walking along the docks in Astoria this past August was unnerving with so many sea lions. The sea lions did better at catching salmon than we did from a guide's boat.
Water Cloud Sky Bird Water resources
 

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That video is astounding. Now the great whites are moving in. Incredible but totally predictable. When we interact with these ecosystems we can hit them pretty hard. Then the expectation is the rebound. Our belief that the situation "right" itself is usually not realistic. We expect a little faster turn-around. Faster than is reasonable. Just ask those sharks. This has been slowly going for years.
 

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Checks and balances.

Before man decimated the salmon runs, before we nearly hunted the seals to extinction, before anyone lived on these shores. What was the check on the predators that relied on them? If millions of salmon returned to these waters every year and had nothing to fear from a higher predator, what kept their numbers in check? Where was the balance then?

I firmly believe we can't fix these problems. And as long as nature isn't able to right the unlimited growth of our population, they will continue to get worse.

Do any of you truly believe? Humans will come to a point were we do something to reverse the overpopulation of the top predator on the planet?

I try not to think about it to much as it's just so depressing. Sorry to be such a Debby Downer. Back to your regular programming.
 
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