A new gang is getting rough treatment from federal authorities near the town of Cascade Locks, Oregon. Tired of the "Zalophus bunch" hanging around a fish ladder at Bonneville dam and eating endangered salmon, federal fish and wildlife officials are moving towards a a death sentence.
Who are these criminals? California sea lions, doing what comes naturally, eating fish.
But they happen to be eating the wrong fish in the wrong place at the wrong time. Columbia River salmon are in trouble, and we're spending big bucks to try to save them. By some counts, hundreds of millions of dollars per year. Of course, that's not real money, it's economist's money like "wasted" water that fish get to use instead of hydropower turbines.
Sadly, the recovery plan isn't working, so instead of solving the problems we'll just kill the sea lions blamed for killing 3000 salmon per year. That's a drop in the bucket of dead salmon, but it's earned the Zalophus gang a death sentence.
To the tradition of the scapegoat, we can now add a new word term...the scapesealion. And the scapecormorant...we've spent taxdollars to pay boaters to "harass" cormorants that are eating juvenile salmon, with no obvious benefit.