I, along with hundreds of other fishermen and women, have tried all of the suggested non-harassing methods to discourage sea lions and local seals from from taking our catch when we’re salmon fishing.
Unfortunately, they don’t work. In fact, I believe these methods do two things. First, the sea lions and seals know they’re safe and the most we’re going to do is pound on the boat (at that point they must have a sense of humor and just chuckle); and second, the anglers and their property are placed in harm's way given the highly aggressive nature of the huge creatures.
Hooked fish that may have been netted by anglers are ripped away and in many cases boats are rammed as anglers attempt to net hooked fish. Wild fish that would have been released aren’t — sea lions don’t discriminate.
The authors of the recent story published in TDN (Dead sea lions fund with bullet holes) also recommended putting netting around structures to prevent sea lion encroachment. Yeah right, talk to the cities of Rainier and Astoria about how effective that is.
I love being on the water and fishing and I respect the law of the land, therefore I’ll spend most of my time on our various lakes and adjust my expectations and hopes to a smaller scale.
Then there’s the local economic impact on gas stations, tackle shops and other businesses that directly or indirectly support the fishing public.