GEARHART, Ore. (AP) - About 20 dead sea lions - most with gunshot wounds - have been found in northern Oregon and southern Washington in just two months, a marine mammal researcher says.
Dalin D'Alessandro said the shooting surge since the beginning of April is claiming both California and Steller sea lions. She's a Portland State University research assistant with the Northern Oregon-Southern Washington Marine Mammal Stranding Network.
The dead creatures have been found near the mouth of the Columbia River and a few miles to the north and south.
D'Alessandro thinks the killing is due to fishermen frustrated over competition for their catch. While it's typical to see a slight increase in dead sea lions around the opening of salmon season, recent numbers are about four times the norm for the same time period.