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Reward for Information on Boater Who Drove Through Sea Lions on the Columbia River

April 28, 2023

California sea lions are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Screen capture from video of a boat harassing sea lions Vessel driving through resting California sea lions. Credit: Michael Brady

NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information that leads to a civil penalty or criminal conviction of the boater observed driving through resting California sea lions in the Columbia River on April 3, 2023, near Hayden Island, Oregon.

Law enforcement is seeking information on the identity of the operator of the recreational fishing vessel involved in the incident. The vessel is an approximately 19- to 20-foot aluminum Hewescraft Pro-V Sea Runner with a dark blue stripe. The vessel has a soft top with an aluminum Barewest Fish & Wake Tower and is powered by a Yamaha outboard motor.

View a video of the incident in question

The Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibits harassment, hunting, capturing, or killing marine mammals such as sea lions. Seals and sea lions may be deterred only using approved non-lethal methods and only during active fishing with gear deployed. 

Anyone with information about the vessel and/or incident should call the Investigating Agent directly at (360) 310-0259 or the 24/7 enforcement hotline at (800) 853-1964. 

To report a dead, injured, or stranded marine mammal, call the West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network: (866) 767-6114.

Last updated by West Coast Regional Office on May 01, 2023