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Press Release

Bipartisan Bill to Protect Endangered Fish Species in Pacific Northwest Heads to President Trump for Signature

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed S. 3119, the Endangered Salmon Predation Prevention Act. This bipartisan bill provides states and tribes with the necessary tools to humanely manage sea lions that have migrated outside their historic range and pose an imminent threat to fish species listed under the Endangered Species Act.

“The habitual Washington D.C. knee-jerk defense of the status quo is harming endangered species instead of protecting them. Existing regulations are leading to the decline in endangered salmon in the Pacific Northwest, a key source of ecological vibrancy in the region. This bipartisan bill corrects the problem by giving states and tribes the tools to humanely manage sea lions and prevent further destruction of endangered fish and the region’s economy.” -- Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah)  

“Today’s passage of our bill to control sea lions was a hard-fought victory – it’s a personal victory for each of us who treasure our Northwest salmon runs and want to see them preserved for generations to come. I’m grateful for the partnership of my colleague Kurt Schrader, and for Senators Risch and Cantwell for shepherding this through the Senate. I’m so pleased we are able to give Northwest fish managers this critical tool to help save our salmon and steelhead runs.” -- U.S. Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.)  

“This has been an issue that I have worked on since first coming to Congress nine years ago. I want to thank everyone – Rep. Herrera Beutler, Senators Risch and Cantwell, and our states, tribes, and local communities – for the exceptional work to get this bill over the finish line this year. In the last few years especially, we’ve seen a record number of sea lions in the Columbia River from Astoria to Bonneville Dam. Ratepayers and my constituents are paying hundreds of millions of dollars annually towards the largest mitigation program in the country for threatened and endangered salmon. These sea lions, whose population has become totally inconsistent with their historic range, have been undoing all of that work by feasting on the endangered species. Our legislation will provide a great step forward in eliminating this threat to our iconic Oregon salmon that are struggling to survive once and for all.” – U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.)  

“Eastern Washington believes in both supporting clean, renewable hydropower and protecting our endangered salmon, a species so unique to the history of our region. Over the past 80 years, we’ve seen steady increases in salmon recovery rates on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, largely due to increased technology and innovation at our dams. This bill is another important step in protecting our endangered salmon. By mitigating sea lion predation we can increase fish recovery without costing Washingtonians hundreds of millions of dollars.” – U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.)  

“Billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on salmon recovery in the Pacific Northwest only to see invasive sea lions take a bite out of the population. I applaud colleagues in the House and Senate who have worked together in our bipartisan effort to improve management of pinnipeds threatening our salmon with this legislation.” – U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.)