Earlier this month, ODFW reported that by late December only 110 wild winter steelhead had passed upstream at Willamette Falls. Unfortunately, this tracks closely with last year's record low escapement and is far less than the average passage of 742 winter steelhead from 2007-2011.
ODFW has identified growing sea lion predation as a severe threat to the existence of wild Willamette River winter steelhead (in fact: A 2017 analysis from ODFW found a 90 percent chance that one or more of these endangered Steelhead populations will become extinct - unless Congress acts). Unless something is done to address sea lion predation in the Willamette River we will lose winter Steelhead to extinction. CCA Oregon has made this a major priority, but will our elected officials act before it is too late?
Fortunately, legislation to give federal, state, and tribal agencies the legal authority to address the sea lion threat is beginning to gather momentum in Congress. The bipartisan Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act (H.R. 2083) is sponsored by U.S. Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Battle Ground) and Kurt Schrader (D-Canby) to give agencies the legal authority they need under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to protect salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River basin.
This legislation recently passed a key Committee in the House and there are plans to bring the legislation to the floor of the House with amendments that are likely to garner more support for the legislation in the U.S. Senate. Many of you have already weighed in with your elected officials - thank you. We need you to do it again as we enter a critical time:
Click HERE to send your Senators and Representative an updated email asking for their support.