Every fall and winter in Washington state, as the rains come and the rivers rise, there’s a traditional photo op that Northwesterners know well — of salmon swimming across standing water on highways. This time, they might have been fleeing a hungry sea lion.
Washington State Patrol Trooper Chelsea Hodgson shared these WSP photos of this big fella crossing a highway near Grays River, Wash., on Wednesday. The highway runs alongside the Grays River. The river empties into the mouth of the Columbia, where hungry sea lions are a problem for the salmon fishery. Also, it so happens the sea lion wasn’t far from Seal Slough.
It’s a good reminder for drivers to be on the lookout for slow-moving vehicles, pedestrians, or pinnipeds, particularly on dark winter days. A big male sea lion can weigh well over 700 pounds.
Look who got a little lost on SR 4 near Hull Road (MP 17) this morning 🦭
It’s understandable considering all the extra ☔️ water everywhere! #DriveSafe! You never know what – or in this case who – could be around the next corner. #YourWSP🚔 pic.twitter.com/upnlcxnwWd
— Trooper Chelsea Hodgson (@wspd8pio) January 6, 2021