Photos Show the Ill-Effects of Seals Thriving in Northern California Waterways

Wildlife conservation in Northern California is a tricky subject. With each protection, or lack thereof, ripple effects are felt throughout the wilderness and could mean the life or death of a species. One such example is the seal population thriving in NorCal waterways and visible effects they are having on the fish.

Popular NorCal fly fishing guide Service AC Fly Fishing, ran by Anthony Carruesco, recently posted photos of the sad signs of seals in the waterways and they are shocking:

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The impacts of Seals in the estuaries and lower portions of our coastal rivers is getting tougher to stomach. Over 70% of the fish we put eyes on this winter had some visible sign of seal caused wounds.. Some much more severe than others. When you take the time to go down and look at these specific areas that these anadromous fish congregate before entering the rivers, it’s mind blowing to see how many seals are down there making a living on these fish for 3 months of the year.. and they’re not just eating one a day.. I understand that seals have many protections now in CA and on the west coast which have allowed their populations to boom and severely increase their impact on endangered Steelhead and Salmon. I know there is a lot of $ being spent in these specific areas to restore Wild Salmon and Steelhead populations to historic abundance but I have a really tough time seeing this come to fruition without acknowledging this specific impact. There is a balance to find in managing fish and seals. I’d love to see more dialogue addressing this issue. It seems that Washington and Oregon have recently acknowledged these issues and have already taken action.. Where should we start @troutunlimitedca @californiadfw @californiatrout ? #protectwildsteelhead

A post shared by AC Fly Fishing (@acflyfishing) on

“Over 70% of the fish we put eyes on this winter had some visible sign of seal caused wounds.. Some much more severe than others,” wrote AC Fly Fishing in the post. “When you take the time to go down and look at these specific areas that these anadromous fish congregate before entering the rivers, it’s mind blowing to see how many seals are down there making a living on these fish for 3 months of the year.”

The photos show the significant scars and mutilation that the fish encounter when being hunted by the seals. AC went on to explain how they’d like to see this issue addressed when considering wildlife conservation in California.

“I understand that seals have many protections now in CA and on the west coast which have allowed their populations to boom and severely increase their impact on endangered Steelhead and Salmon. I know there is a lot of $ being spent in these specific areas to restore Wild Salmon and Steelhead populations to historic abundance but I have a really tough time seeing this come to fruition without acknowledging this specific impact. There is a balance to find in managing fish and seals.”

For more information on AC Fly Fishing, go check out their website or popular Instagram page.

Active NorCal

Northern California's Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine

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