By Dan Shapley
Federal wildlife officials are resorting to rubber bullets, recorded calls of hungry whales and other strange tactics to prevent sea lions, a protected species under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, from getting a good meal. That's because it's meal is an endangered species - chinook salmon in the Columbia River. The "hazing" - not as cruel as the frat house variety - is intended to persuade the hungry sea lions they should forage elsewhere, in hopes that the spawning salmon can face one less obstacle on their way to natal streams, where they reproduce and then die. They congregate at the base of dams, which in addition to blocking their upstream passage, become all-you-can-eat seal lion buffets.