Frustrated Port of Astoria still battling sea lions

Oregon Coast

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Every spring and summer, large numbers of sea lions cause big problems for the Port of Astoria. 

The animals, with their large, heavy bodies, damage the docks they rest upon and keep anglers from wanting to use the docks since they occasionally cause vessels to sink. 

Ask anyone who makes their livelihood along the coast and they’ll tell you how much of a problem the yearly sea lion invasion is. 

In the past, the Port of Astoria has tried non-lethal measures to rid the area of the marine mammals. Officials tried using beach balls tied to the docks, chicken wire, expensive electrified mats and air dancers. 

The last tactic worked — until the sea lions got used to the inflatables and returned. 

Jim Knight, the executive director at the Port of Astoria, told KOIN 6 News on Friday there are no new plans for handling the sea lions this year. 

Knight said the air dancers could still work but someone would need to inflate and deflate the devices periodically. 

Despite the sea lions’ bad reputation, some tourists enjoy watching them. 

Melissa Melborne stopped in the area on her way from Seattle to Cannon Beach. She said she stopped to look at the sea lions as they were passing through. 

“I heard them, it was incredibly phenomenal, it brought my eye to them,” Melborne said. “We were just watching them while having lunch.” 

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