Submitter: Harrison, Carlisle
I grew up on salmon hatcheries in the Bonneville Dam area. In 1953 I entered a biology program to become a fisheries biologist. At the time there were essentially no seals, sea lions, Caspian Terns or Cormorants in the Columbia River. The major natural predators were Pike Minnows (Squaw Fish) in large numbers and Mergansers in small numbers. You have done much to improve fish passage, improve water quality and restricted harvest. Yet, the numbers of fish have not improved significantly. I believe you must take a stronger stand to protect fish from the expanding predator populations. In the 1950's there was no hesitation to apply lethal predator controls. I admit that in some cases this was done to excess. Now the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction and you must take a stronger stand to control them. I can see nothing short of lethal means to accomplish this and I think you should say so in a more forceful way. I may be getting old but I can still examine scientific evidence, apply scientific principles, analyze the evidence and come up with the conclusions that predator populations are up to no good. Failing to control them is only going to result in increased populations and unnecessary expenses to modify different limiting factors with less significance to the solution.