Chronology of Events under the Marine Mammal Protection Act Section 120 Process for Lethal Removal Authority for Problem California Sea Lions in the Columbia River Basin

June 2016 - NMFS authorizes Washington, Oregon, and Idaho to lethally remove individually identifiable California sea lions at Bonneville Dam that are having a significant negative impact on at-risk salmonids.

May 2016 - NMFS reconvenes Pinniped-Fishery Interaction Task Force.

February 2016 - NMFS accepts states' application; followed by public comment period.

January 2016 - Washington, Oregon, and Idaho submit a new request for authority to lethally remove predatory California sea lions at Bonneville Dam.

October 2013 – Letter of Authority & Bonneville Field Report  

September 2013 – U.S. Ninth Circuit rules in NMFS favor pdf format 

March 2013 – States 2013 plan to manage sea lions in the Columbia River Basin pdf format 1.5MB

February 2013 – U.S. District Court rules in NMFS favor pdf format 

May 2012 – Federal judge rejects Humane Society of the U.S. request to halt California sea lion removals while its lawsuit against the program proceeds

March 2012 – Humane Society of the U.S. files lawsuit

March 2012 – NOAA Fisheries authorizes Washington, Oregon and Idaho to remove salmon-eating California sea lions

November 2011 – 2011 Pinniped–Fishery Interaction Task Force Report released  

October 2011 –  Pinniped-Fishery Interaction Task Force reconvenes

September 2011 – NOAA Fisheries accepts states' new application; followed by public comment period

August 2011Washington, Oregon and Idaho submit new request for authorization to lethally remove California sea lions at Bonneville Dam that are feeding on ESA-listed salmon and steelhead  

August 2011 – Court dismisses legal case

July 2011NOAA Fisheries to lethally remove California sea lions at Bonneville Dam; program removals to date total 37 animals: 10 to public display facilities, one died during health exam, 26 euthanized by veterinarian  

May 2011 – Humane Society of the U.S. files lawsuit

May 2011NOAA Fisheries authorizes Washington and Oregon to remove salmon-eating California sea lions

January 2011decides to fix "flaws" in sea lion removal program rather than seek further review of Ninth Circuit Court's decision

December 2010Release of 2010 Pinniped–Fishery Interaction Task Force Report

December 2010States request that letter of authorization be reissued to them

November 2010 Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decides that authorization for removal program must be revised

October 2010Corps of Engineers' Field Report, 2008-2010  1.7MB

September 2010Pinniped–Fishery Interaction Task Force reconvenes, in accordance with letter of authorization following third season of sea lion removals  

October 2009 – Corps of Engineers' Field Report, 2009  

December 2008 – Plaintiffs appeal

November 2008 – District Court upholds NOAA Fisheries' approval of lethal removal program

September 2008-- States' Field Report, 2008

May 2008 – Agreement with Humane Society of the U.S. suspends lethal removal program

May 2008 – 6 sea lions die of heat prostration after two unattended traps in Columbia River close on them

March 2008 – Humane Society of the U.S. and others file lawsuit in U.S. District Court

March 2008NOAA Fisheries authorizes Washington, Oregon and Idaho to remove salmon-eating California sea lions

January 2008 – NOAA Fisheries releases draft environmental assessment on states' application; followed by public comment period

November 2007 Release of 2007 Pinniped–Fishery Interaction Task Force Report  

August 2007NOAA Fisheries establishes Pinniped–Fishery Interaction Task Force

January 2007 – NOAA Fisheries accepts states' application; followed by public comment period

December 2006 – Washington, Oregon and Idaho submit request for authorization under to lethally remove California sea lions at Bonneville Dam that are having significant negative impact on decline or recovery of ESA-listed salmon and steelhead

March 2006 – Oregon, Washington, the Corps, and NOAA expand testing of non-lethal deterrence measures to reduce California sea lion predation on salmon and steelhead below Bonneville Dam

February 2006 – Corps monitors seal and sea lion predation on salmon and steelhead February – June; adult salmon/steelhead run taken during that period was 2.8 percent

May 2005 – Oregon, Washington and NOAA Fisheries conduct short-term research project to test non-lethal deterrence measures to reduce California sea lion predation on salmon and steelhead below Bonneville Dam

March 2005 – Corps notifies Oregon, Washington and NOAA Fisheries that California sea lions are particularly active in dam's tailrace, predation rates appear to be increasing, and one animal (branded number C404) was observed feeding in adult fish passage ladders

February 2005 – Corps monitors seal and sea lion predation on salmon and steelhead February – June; adult salmon/steelhead run taken during that period was 3.4 percent

February 2004 – Corps monitors seal and sea lion predation on salmon and steelhead February – June; adult salmon/steelhead run taken during that period was 1.9 percent

February 2003 – Corps monitors seal and sea lion predation on salmon and steelhead February – June; adult salmon/steelhead run taken during that period was 1.1 percent

February 2002 – Corps monitors seal and sea lion predation on salmon and steelhead February – June; adult salmon/steelhead run taken during that period was 0.4 percent

April 2001 – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Fisheries Field Unit begins documenting seal and sea lion predation on fish in Bonneville Dam tailrace

2000 – Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinion calls for evaluation of seal and sea lion (pinniped) predation in tailrace of Bonneville Dam