Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program
SOW Report
Contract 32844: 199803100 EXP SEA LION HAZING
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Implement Wy-Kan-Ush-Mi Wa-Kish-Wit
Province Subbasin %
Basinwide - 100.00%
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In 2006 the states of Oregon and Washington initiated a sea lion hazing program at Bonneville Dam to address predation of ESA listed spring Chinook and steelhead by a steadily increasing number of sea lions.  It is thought that the increased presence of sea lions so far inland is the result of this modified environment that concentrates fish numbers below the dam and thus enhances marine mammal predation of salmon, steelhead and sturgeon. The hazing program utilizes acoustic and tactile deterrents in an attempt to deter sea lion presence and consumption of fish near the Dam.  The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) was invited to assist the states in this effort in which it added and staffed a second hazing boat one to two days a week.  Hazing was limited to an irregular 4 days per week during day light hours in coordination with the Army Corps of Engineers’ evaluation of their fish-way SLEDS.  All hazing supplies were purchased by the states and CRITFC diverted critical BIA funds to provide staff and boat operation.

In 2007 the states of Oregon and Washington hazing activities have been increased to one hazing boat 7 days per week during daylight hours and the area has been expanded to cover the dam face to approximately 6 miles downstream.  The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) is seeking funds to cover their hazing activity which provides a second hazing boat, additional hazing supplies and a crew two days per week.  Since these activities cover several square miles it is hoped that a second hazing boat can provide an additional deterrent. At present hazing supplies have been limited and the states have difficulty covering their on crews’ needs.  This effort will start the first week of May and continue for 4 weeks and include 2 days per week.  Total effort will include 8 days of hazing.


Boat hazing activities will occur during daylight hour between the Bonneville dam face to 6 miles downstream.  The hazing boat will be crewed by three people (one boat captain, one data collector and one person hazing), and will coordinate activities with the state hazing boat and Department of Agriculture hazing crews on Bonneville dam.  Hazing will be boat-based and include acoustic and tactile deterrents (seal bombs, cracker shells, rubber buckshot, and vessel chase) in an attempt to deter pinnipeds.  

Data on all sea lion encounters will be recorded following protocols established by the states which include the time and location of the initial encounter, species, direction of movement, fish kill information, numbers and types of deterrents used, and time, location and direction at the end of the encounter.  All data collected will be sent to ODFW/WDFW to be included in the overall hazing evaluation.  In-season activities are summarized on a weekly basis by the Corps.  Included in those summaries are effects from boat-based hazing.  A collaborative annual report is also produced which, details the project.  Activities funded by the BPA will be included in this collaborative report.  For an example of the report see Wright et al. (2007).

Project participants received safety briefings from USACE, ODFW, and WDFW personnel.  Briefings covered boat operations and clearance for activities in the Boat Restricted Zone (BRZ) below the dam, overhead hazards, lockout procedures, hazardous water conditions, personal safety equipment (PFDs, ear and eye protection), communications, and project planning details.  A safety protocol for pyrotechnic deployment from the boats was also discussed.  Boats teams received briefings on vessel safety equipment and rescue procedures at the time of launch. While inside the Boat Restricted Zone (BRZ), hazing boats maintained VHF-radio contact with the Bonneville Dam Vessel Control officer for status and vessel traffic updates.


Hazing activities will attempt to deter sea lion presence near Bonneville Dam and its fishways in an attempt to reduce predation on ESA listed spring Chinook and steelhead.

Data collected will be added to the existing state, ACOE, and NOAA databases concerning sea lion presence at great distances from the ocean, predation on ESA and non-ESA listed fish species, and the effectiveness of hazing on deterring sea lion presence.  Data collection and reporting will be consistent with and included in a field report similar to last year (Wright et al. 2007).


Under the MMPA Section 109(h)(1)(c), the states have the authority to take non-listed nuisance pinnipeds.  For the purposes of this work, CRITFC is working as an agent of the states.


Bryan Wright, Steve Jeffries, Robin Brown, Robert Stansell, Doug Hatch, and Brent Norberg. 2007.  FIELD REPORT – NON-LETHAL PINNIPED DETERRENT ACTIVITIES AT BONNEVILLE DAM, SPRING 2006.  STATUS REPORT TO NOAA.

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* Expenditures data includes accruals and are based on data through 30-Apr-2020.

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Viewing of Work Statement Elements

Deliverable Title WSE Sort Letter, Number, Title Start End Complete
Administrative coordination B: 119. Administration of Contract 06/30/2007 05/30/2007
Additional 8 days of Hazing C: 190. Sea-lion Hazing 06/30/2007 06/15/2007

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Primary Focal Species Work Statement Elements
  • 1 instance of WE 190 Remove, Exclude and/or Relocate Animals

Sort WE ID WE Title NEPA NOAA USFWS NHPA Has Provisions Inadvertent Discovery Completed
A 185 Periodic Status Reports for BPA 02/09/2007
B 119 Administration of Contract 02/09/2007
C 190 Sea-lion Hazing 04/25/2007