Seals shot in the head [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Seals shot in the head

06-11-2011, 07:42 PM
I see in the paper that someone is taking matters into their own hands and have shot 5 seals. A seal must have grabed someone's big fish and made them really mad...

06-13-2011, 04:18 AM
Like it or not the seal is a protected animal. Anyone caught doing this will face Federal charges. The Feds takes this stuff seriously. FishHawk

06-13-2011, 06:33 AM
There's one in the tub the other day that looks like it was shot.

I agree with Fishhawk - and shooting seals is not going to solve the problems caused by overfishing and habitat destruction anyway.

06-13-2011, 06:47 AM
ah - my post should not be interpreted as agreeing with the action. Just to inform and point out the extreme as to which some people would go. Frankly, I find it pretty sad and provides a glimps into man's actions and soul.

06-13-2011, 07:38 AM
FYI - I did not interpret it that way. Thanks for reporting a fact that many should be aware of.

06-13-2011, 09:27 AM
I'd prefer Mr. Whitey (the sharks) take care of the seal problem.....not Dirty Harry....I know there's been some good-natured joking amongst anglers (myself included) about this kind of thing, but it sickens me to hear that somebody has actually gone out and done I've stated in other posts, I'm against killing an animal just for the sake of killing, or because the animal is perceived as a "nuisance" as opposed to being a real threat....when I hunt, it's to put food on the table....and I don't believe I've spotted any Inuit (aka "Eskimos") roaming the National Seashore lately.
Hopefully they will catch/punish the offending party.

P.S.- The Inuit reference was with regards to the fact that they use seals as a source of food, and are LEGALLY permitted to hunt them up north- NOT that I thought one was responsible for the local incident.

06-13-2011, 09:45 AM
true, and they use every scrap of the animal for legitimate uses

06-13-2011, 10:02 AM
I can remember when you would get a $5.00 bounty if you brought a seals ear to a town hall.If I recall man is suppose to have all power over animals ,when did it become "in" for it to be the other way.The bleeding hearts are killing us,now don't take this wrong,I don't approve of killing for the sake of killing,but we need some type of control when the population of animals change what man is used to such as what has happened to the fishing along the cape.If it's alright to hire pro sharp shooters to kill coyotes to save terns and plovers,or poison crows to save the same why can't there be something done to lower the seals population for us.

06-13-2011, 02:18 PM
Not sure if its related to this incident but I saw three seal carcasses in the tub / Morris Island area a couple of weeks back.

I didn't get close enough to assess cause of death and stayed well upwind - but from the state of decomposition they looked to have been dead some time.

06-13-2011, 11:45 PM
And here on the Left Coast, specifically the Columbia River between Washington and Oregon, permission was finally granted to shoot Sea Lions that have been ravishing anadromous fish at Bonneville Dam (the lowest dam on the Columbia and more than 100 miles from the ocean). Predation by sea lions, and the totally artificial situation the dams create (pausing the runs as the fish sort out of fish ladders) has created a food bonanza for sea lions that never existed in historical times. All the money and effort being poured into restoring native salmon runs into the upper Columbia and Snake was being devoured by these opportunistic critturs. (Who could blame them, if I were a sea lion, I'd be there at the trough).

Nevertheless, the situation is intolerable. As I said, this is an artificial situation, caused by delays below the dam. Many non-lethal attempts to dissuade the sea lions have been attempted, with unsatisfactory results. So. Finally permission was given to shoot the Sea Lions.

Since rescinded. One or the other of the animal rights groups got an injunction. It doesn't matter which.

Big eyed mammals count more than slimy, cold-blooded fishies.

Oh what a piece of work is Man!



06-14-2011, 01:11 PM
Big eyed mammals count more than slimy, cold-blooded fishies.

Oh what a piece of work is Man!

Hot topic for sure...

We have something similar happening over here in the UK but ours is with 1. cormorants and 2. otters.

The cormorants are flying inland to feed in trout streams and lakes with each bird devouring several kilos of fish per day. Sometimes fisheries have 30 or 40 birds drying their wings in the trees and they are powerless to shoot them due to the birds being protected... It's an insane situation.

The otter is a different story as they were pretty much wiped out early last century but man has 'stuck his oar in' and reintroduced these animals into the wild with devastating consequences. They are roaming all over the countryside and getting into all sorts of river sections and lakes and eating the fish. Otters died out for a reason and bringing them back creates a whole host of new problems the "big eyed animal lovers" can't and don't always see.

Seals? There are way too many both here and in the Cape.

06-14-2011, 04:05 PM
The seal is a problem for sure but it's a scapegoat in my opinion. It's the netting of the Herring for Omega Protein and fish oil used for human health products. Big corporate money behind this. So, the seal gets most of the blame. The Herring is one of the primary source of forage for the Striped Bass.
Herring runs are way down. Just my opinion . FishHawk.

06-14-2011, 05:40 PM
I'm with FishHawk here, if people are worried about too many seals, too few sharks, too few stripers, lack of forage fish, destroyed ocean floor, etc., etc. they'll find the root of the problem by taking a look in the mirror. Suggesting simplistic cures is as brain dead as the policies that got us where we are now. My.02.

06-16-2011, 04:34 AM
They're a nuisance that attract sharks which are as likely to kill someone's kid as a seal. notwithstanding their tourism value,they need to be severely culled.

Mike Oliver
06-19-2011, 12:47 PM

Otters died out for a reason. Yes they did, at the hands of man in the names of sport and misguided estate management. Otters have a right to be on our rivers. nature left alone creates perfect balance over time. I have no time for Chalk stream Riparian owners bleating and I bet the Bleaters are also the ones who stock rainbow Trout in our chalk streams.
Steve are you sure that Cormarants can eat 7 kilos a day. They dont weigh that much themselves. My understanding is 2kg a day if they can find it. I am not keen on Cormarants either and they are causing a lot of damage to Trout and coarse fisheries but the reason they do this is factory fishing at sea which has depleated their natural food. So mans solution is kill food fish and then kill the apex preditor that feeds on them when it eats stock fish in a put and take fishery. We are a real class act us humans.


06-19-2011, 03:13 PM

I said several kilos not seven and yes, you're right... man is indeed a class act!

Mike Oliver
06-19-2011, 03:15 PM
Sorry Stevo. But several is lots more than 2. LOL

06-20-2011, 09:11 AM
I'd love it if a pod of Orcas moved into the area, they could limit the seal population , and give a show for the tourist $$$ instead if just seal watching :Eyecrazy: Tom D

06-20-2011, 10:26 AM
This does happen here on rare occasions. The pelagic orcas will sweep into one of our coastal bays and pretty much wipe out the harbor seal and seal lion populations within a matter of hours, having great fun (apparently) doing it. Tourists are generally horrified by all the bloody seal parts flying through the air.

But, the salmon think it's cool.



06-20-2011, 10:27 AM

I've seen orcas eating salmon too, which is about the only time I wish there were seals around while I'm fishing ;)

06-20-2011, 02:57 PM
So I have to ask. Do the seals impact the striper population that much? I"m sure they are taking their fair share of fish, but to the point of us fishers leaving an area due to the seals? (read: can I blame my lack of fish on my recent trip on the seals :confused: )

06-20-2011, 02:58 PM
Yeah, Juro, that's why I mention "pelagic" orcas. Apparently there are two "races" of orcas, the pelagics, which eat sea mammals and large sharks, and the 'resident" race, which is more commonly seen. Resident orcas look on salmon steaks as a staple.

There's a good description of this in the Friday Harbor (Wa) museum. Anyway, that's how I found out about it. Not much on the net.

-- Eric

06-20-2011, 07:37 PM
Bruce, I cannot speak with any authority or scientific support but this is my thinking. Seals will consume 20 to 40 lbs of fish a day, not exclusively stripers but also smaller bait fish. This in turn forces the population of bait, followed by stripers, further off shore out of the normal hunting grounds for seals and also out of reach of shore bound fishermen. Notice that a lot of posts from boat fishermen have told a story of having good catching days and very few post of shore bound have told the same story. There is no question that the stocks of bait fish and stripers are on a very steep downward cycle, not all attributable to seals but the number of seals sure isn't helping matters and they are a very visible entity to place the blame on. Stripers are not dumb and if they are being harassed close to shore they will move off shore, especially if the bait fish that exist are there too.
Just a comment IMHO!

Pete Readel

Dble Haul
06-20-2011, 08:48 PM
I don't disagree with a lot of what Pete has to say, but I look at it more from the other end. A striper that is fatigued from a hook and line fight is an easier meal for a seal to swipe than one that hasn't been fought and released, so if I see a multidue of seals in an area I will move typically to give the stripers a fighting chance upon release.

It's analagous to sharks with tired bonefish released on flats.

06-21-2011, 01:58 PM
Mark, I don't disagree with you at all! Rip Trip on "Clave Weekend" had a small 20" +/- nicked by what I think was a seal. Went 'bonkers' as I was bringing it in and then pretty passive. Was missing a chunk, behind the head, in front of dorsel about the size of my thumb. Held it in water for a good 5 min before it stopped bleeding and started to show signs of recovery. Let it go and it stayed almost in the wash for several more minutes before it darted off. Had big old grinning SOB about 50' offshore just swimming along as I walked the beach. Seals have learned very quickly that fish on a line is an easy target. I guess my point that I tried to make was that the drop off in 'catching' is not all a result of seals but that they, seals, make an easy scape-goat!


Dble Haul
06-21-2011, 04:39 PM
I agree, they certainly are not the root cause of any decline, but an already pinched striper population could be affected even more so by them.

06-22-2011, 02:49 AM
great points guys! I have not experienced 'catching' with seals around, but will be much more aware of them when I do fish.

06-22-2011, 07:55 AM
It's a tough topic. I really don't think seals have any appreciable effect on bass numbers, I've seen pretty convincing research that seals don't typically eat fish bigger than 2 lbs or so (unless they're on the line of course). I would believe that they scare bass away though or at least cause them to stop eating while the seals are still around. They're probably putting a dent in the pogie and sand eel population though.

06-22-2011, 08:21 AM
They eat a lot of skate and dogfish too. I call one spot I fish "the boneyard" because it's piled up with the discards of seal meals. Very few large stripers skeletons in there, but there are definitely some.

I would imagine they eat all of the finfish while they eat around the skate and dogfish spines and cartilage so it's not a good accounting for their consumption.

On two occasions over the years seals have taken my deep eel, they definitely eat sand eels :)

If this north wind ever stops ol' toothy white should make a showing... dum dum dum dum dum dum

06-22-2011, 08:57 AM
Seals being like all other animals, are creatures of opportunity, they eat what's easiest and most available, from what I've read their most important forage is sand eels, that's why they hang out in the places where sand eels are abundant. Since stripers also like sand eels, we have the two in the same areas, eating the same stuff and when a striper presents himself as an easy meal, the seal is going to do the obvious. In open water the seal is not going to outrun a striper, but when the seals can pin the fish against the shore, then the seals win. I seriously doubt that stripers are a major item in the seal's diet, simply because there are easier things to catch.
It seems that whenever something goes wrong humans want to place blame when we're the ones who've created all the problems of scarcity and imbalance.

06-22-2011, 09:14 AM
I have also read that grey seals primary diet is sand eels. But I have also watched them floating on there backs munching on a schoolie like an ear of corn.

06-22-2011, 09:22 AM
I believe they also "graze" over mussel beds - based upon visual evidence...

06-23-2011, 07:50 AM
The seal is a problem for sure but it's a scapegoat in my opinion. It's the netting of the Herring for Omega Protein and fish oil used for human health products. Big corporate money behind this. So, the seal gets most of the blame. The Herring is one of the primary source of forage for the Striped Bass.
Herring runs a way down. Just my opinion . FishHawk.

Obviously there are a number of threats to fish populations, but I agree with John. It is companies like Omega of Houston that each year capture millions of lbs of baitfish in their nets to make fish oil supplements. It is not only herring but menhaden as well. Once they are gone the entire Atlantic fishery collapses. I continually write to my congressional delegation about these issues and all I get in return is a patronizing reply - "yes we agree something must be done, it is a serious issue, it is under study, blah,blah blah...."


06-23-2011, 08:14 AM
Yes I agree Omega protein is out of control. It's outrageous how much pogie they harvest without any check on them.