#24 Bonneville Dam–WA

Bonneville dam, Washington side

Bonneville dam powerhouse tour, Washington side
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..      The Washington side of Bonneville dam has the better powerhouse tour. 
     Also, in March, April, and a bit of early May the Sea Lions rule the waters in front of the dam face.  In April you can witness roaving gangs of sea lions scarfing down on the salmon. The salmon are too big for the Sea Lions to gulp down whole, so each one they catch they have to thrash it about to rip it into bite-size hunks. It’s incredible to watch, to say the least!!!
     Imagine…these Stellar Sea lions are an endangered species, yet they feed right in front of your face here at the dam, often just a stone’s throw from the near-side rock embankment where you can sit and watch all the action.  Where else are you gonna watch an endangered species eat…for free…near your home.  This is really one of the best wildlife shows the gorge has…but instead of being celebrated, the politics of the issue have made it seem like some sort of euthanasia blood bath.  It’s not.    My opinion is that the current politics surrounding the eating-the-salmon issue are misguided. The Gov’t is currently spending over $1,000 per saved salmon…and the salmon then swim over the dam to be caught by the tribes and sold to the public for roughly $25. It’s ridiculous.  Salmon recovery and $$ go hand in hand in our current managed river system. Let’s find a way to stop the expensive Sea Lion euthanasia program, and find a way to compensate the upriver fishermen stakeholders for their lost catch…all while celebrating the wonder of the Columbia River and its bounty that supports the dramatic feeding of an endangered species.  Come watch in April…you’ll see…seeing the Sea Lions feed is far more interesting than I ever imagined it would be!!
        I think you’ll be impressed…..Come see!!

 

Salmon-munching Sea Lion, in front of fish ladder

 

Salmon-munching Sea Lion, near Wa. shoreline

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