Sea lions are turning more and more into a problem, and there should be permits so that the average citizen can rid themselves of the nuisance of the California sea lions.

With the sea lions hanging out at the Bonneville Dam and eating the fish there, this means there aren't as many fish coming to the rivers and creeks, resulting in less fish for the commercial fisherman to catch, thus creating less money for them and their families.

Washington state, Oregon and Idaho have asked for permission to kill more than 80 sea lions a year; legislation to expedite the request has been introduced in Congress.

Before the passage of the Marine Mammal Protection Act in 1972, California sea lions, which are the ones making all the noise on the Astoria waterfront, were rarely sighted in the 140-mile stretch of river between the Pacific Ocean and the Bonneville Dam.

Until 1972, Washington and Oregon paid bounties for sea lions killed in the Columbia River and a state sanctioned hunter was also employed. Congress is why we are unable to hunt these pesky critters and something should be done about it. Again, I suggest that we have hunting permits to rid ourselves of the pesky pinnipeds.

SAMANTHA C. HALVERSON

Astoria

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