GOLD BEACH, Ore. – As the Memorial Day Weekend kicks off the summer season, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reminds Oregon coast visitors to stay away from seals and sea lions resting on rocks or beaches.
Right now, thousands of California sea lions are migrating south to breed for the summer and many may stop to rest on Oregon beaches. In addition, harbor seals are having their pups. Often, the mother will head out to sea to feed, temporarily leaving her pup on shoreline rocks or the beach. As with any young wildlife, ODFW asks people not to approach or pick up these seemingly abandoned seal pups.
Elephant seals can also be seen this time of year in the molting stage. These animals may look sick, but are going through the natural molting process.
Seals and California sea lions often rest on the rocks or beaches and people should not approach them, or try to feed or help them. It’s important to keep dogs away as well. Stellar sea lions do not typically rest on the beach, but may if sick or injured and should be left alone to heal.
If a marine animal is obviously sick or injured, people can call the OSU Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline at 541-270-6830 or the Oregon State Police at 1-800-452-7888.
The mission of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is to protect and enhance Oregon's fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations. The agency consists of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, a commission-appointed director and a statewide staff of approximately 950 permanent employees. Headquartered in Salem, ODFW has regional offices in Clackamas, Roseburg, Bend, and La Grande with ten district offices located throughout the state. For additional information, please visit www.dfw.state.or.us.