Humane Society, Ore. agree not to kill sea lions

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The Humane Society of the United States says it has reached an agreement with the states of Oregon and Washington and a federal agency to temporarily halt plans to kill California sea lions at Bonneville Dam this year.

The Humane Society said Wednesday the agreement with the states and NOAA Fisheries Service suspends plans to kill as many as 85 sea lions at the dam, where they feed on federally protected salmon and steelhead migrating up the Columbia River.

Earlier this month, the fisheries service had authorized the states to resume killing some sea lions after a federal appeals court struck down the previous authorization last year.

The Humane Society argues that overfishing, hatchery practices and dam operations are a much bigger threat to fish.