Dam Guardian Reports

June 2, 2013

Dam Guardian Report - May 31, 2013

By Ashley Lenton, Dam Guardian Campaign Leader and Sandy McElhaney, Dam Guardian Campaign Volunteer

On May 15, 2013, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) authorized the Oregon and Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife to add 16 so-called “newly identified predatory sea lions” to the death list at the Bonneville Dam. What this means is that if any of these sea lions are observed eating even one salmon near the dam, they can be killed by shotgun or lethal injection. Meanwhile, local anglers are encouraged to cast their lines into the river and to take home the daily fresh catch. What heinous c ... Read More


May 9, 2013

Dam Guardian Report - May 9, 2013

By Ashley Lenton, Dam Guardian Campaign Leader and Sandy McElhaney, Dam Guardian Campaign Volunteer

We have come to think of Tuesdays as “Terrible Tuesday” on the Dam Guardian Campaign.  Over the course of the last three Tuesdays, 20 sea lions have been trapped at the Dam, of those 11 were branded, two were taken into captivity and one was killed for the crime of eating salmon.   The trapping and branding begins under the cloak of darkness. In an action that seems to take a page from the playbook of the infamous Taiji dolphin killers, the traps are hidden behind tarpaulins.  Strategically placed small bo ... Read More


April 22, 2013

Dam Guardian Report - April 22, 2013

By Ashley Lenton, Dam Guardian Campaign Leader and Sandy McElhaney, Dam Guardian Campaign Volunteer

The day we had been dreading arrived on Tuesday, April 16, 2013, at the Bonneville Dam.  On that date, workers from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) extinguished the life of sea lion C022.  We knew C022 as “Brian the Lion.” As part of our “Champion a Sea Lion” program, people from around the world gave a name to each of the condemned sea lions targeted for lethal removal from the Bonneville Dam for the crime of eating endangered salmon.  There was no financial cost to any of th ... Read More


April 8, 2013

Dam Guardian Report - April 8, 2013

By Ashley Lenton, Dam Guardian Campaign Leader and Sandy McElhaney, Dam Guardian Campaign Volunteer

Sadly, we know that the branding is merely the initiation into the fraternity of hell that awaits the sea lions who eventually journey on towards the Bonneville Dam. It is hard to imagine a place that exhibits as much contempt for marine mammals as Taiji, Japan, except perhaps the states of Oregon and Washington in the United States’ Pacific Northwest.  Taiji is the notorious location of our Cove Guardian Campaign and the Columbia River in Oregon and Washington is where our 2013 Dam Guardian Campaign is now underway.  ... Read More


March 26, 2013

Dam Guardian Report: March 26, 2013

By Ashley Lenton, Dam Guardian Campaign Leader and Sandy McElhaney, Dam Guardian Campaign Volunteer

We observed sea lions with fur that had caught fire and several convulsing in pain. The beginning of the 2013 Dam Guardian Campaign saw moments of great beauty as we watched eagles soar above the Columbia River Gorge, and then hours upon hours of humanity at its very worst as helpless sea lions were branded on Palm Sunday at the Port of Astoria. Our Dam Guardians are present at the Bonneville Dam and also at the Port of Astoria to monitor the branding, hazing, and killing of up to 92 California sea lions who are charged with eating ... Read More