In response to David Linn’s letter to the editor, published Jan. 19 in The Daily World:

I do not know if I can cover all the areas of your issue about killing sea lions but here goes.

First the ratio of predatory to prey is ruled by abundance of prey. When the food source becomes too low the predator moves on or dies. So in the case of the Columbia River and adjoining streams the number of sea lions present indicates there is an ample supply of food. Now the problem is are we going to let the sea lions eat us out of house and home? There are runs that are in serious status and we cannot have these predators eating these fish. So we have to control over the sea lion population. Is this the total answer? No, not the only answer.

Were you over at Westport in the last couple of years? There used to be a couple of sea lions that hung out in the basin but then there were like 40. When I was down there this summer I asked one of the commercial fishermen where the sea lions were. He said they had moved out, apparently not enough food for them.

There are many factors that are effecting our fish populations. Our streams up and down the west coast are being hit by low returns. Some say it is the ocean conditions. Predation is another factor. Oregon and Washington both closed rivers with poor returns this fall. We may very well see this again next year. We have to do our part to sustain the runs too.

When I was young we used to shoot every cormorant we could. Now I don’t believe anyone does because their numbers have escalated a lot. When I contacted the state Department of Wildlife about why there weren’t special means being taken to reduce the numbers I was told that until the returns got very low at the hatcheries the Feds will not allow it.

Anyway David, I urge you to go down to Portland and talk to the people who are out on the rivers and have them tell you what they observe with the sea lion population vs. fish.

As for the dams and fish — the dams were a deterrent to fish at first, but with the addition of fish ladders and revamping the spillway to reduce nitrogen bubbles the fish seem to be doing well. Would you have the dams removed when we get hydroelectric power, recreation and commercial traffic because of the dams?

Carl Hagen