The eagle was perched on a tree limb feeding on a salmon. A hungry sea lion was circling below in the water looking for an easy meal. This scene plays out on the Columbia River every day. Since sea lions arrived in huge numbers, there has been a dramatic change to fish and wildlife survival. As a longtime fisherman, I have never seen more danger to salmon.

Washington and Oregon have responded to this crisis by lethal removal of sea lions from the river. To me , this looks like only a temporary action to solve a long term problem. Without getting into politics, my solution would : 1) Make state and federal regulators come up with a plan to control sea lion populations on the West Coast. 2) Put a two-year ban on all sport and commercial fishing on the Columbia. This will give salmon and steelhead time to recover.

We have to take sea lions out of the river, or face losing the Columbia salmon run to these dangerous predators .

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Rolf Knapp


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