Salmon-eating sea lions targeted at Columbia River dam

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Authorities have started killing more California sea lions preying on imperiled salmon in the Columbia River below a hydroelectric project on the Oregon-Washington border.

The National Marine Fisheries Service on Friday made public revised criteria for removing sea lions at Bonneville Dam about 145 miles (235 kilometers) from the Pacific Ocean.

The new guidelines that went into effect April 17 allow any California sea lion seen in the area on five occasions or seen eating a fish to be put on a list for lethal removal.

Old criteria required both those marks to be met. Officials say 10 sea lions have been killed so far this year.

Billions of dollars have been spent trying to save 13 species of Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead protected under the Endangered Species Act.