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Green River Receives Seal of Approval [VIDEO]


Last Sunday, April 3, a seal was seen playing in the Auburn area of the Green River. Although seals and sea lions are not often spotted this far from the Sound, Chase Gunnell, Puget Sound Region Communications Manager for the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife says it’s not entirely surprising given the low gradient and slow flow of the waterway.


John Feher /

The seal played with and ate fish in the Green River along Riverview Dr. NE for about 15 minutes.

Fish and wildlife biologists have documented seals and sea lions – known collectively as pinnipeds – well into freshwater in many other areas, particularly in the fall when the salmon are running.

Although it is less common to see them so far into freshwaters during the spring, Gunnell believes the seal may have been feeding on winter steelhead or out-migrating juvenile salmon.  This behavior “presents serious concerns and ongoing scientific study given [the] high pinniped abundance and the threatened status of wild salmon and steelhead runs in our region,” says Gunnell.


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As the weather gets warmer and folks make their way to the waters during summer months Gunnell says it is not uncommon for seals or sea lions to follow or approach humans out of curiosity. “The best advice for anyone who encounters them in the water is to remain calm and non-threatening, and to give the animals space whenever possible. Just like other large mammals; don’t corner them, give them an exit, and talk calmly but firmly to let them know you’re human and not a threat.”

Feeding or harming seals and sea lions is a serious crime under state and federal regulations.


Did you see the seal in the river?

All video shot and owned by John Feher / Used by the Auburn Examiner with permission.



  1. D Hall D Hall April 11, 2022

    This is just great.
    Oh look at the cute seal. As he devours salmon and steelhead runs. Dept of fish and wildlife better put theses intruders where they belong. I’ve watched so much miss management from this state department. Just like the green crab infestation. If nothing is done with these seals, you might as well kiss salmon and steelhead on the green goodbye.

  2. Mike Cannon Mike Cannon April 12, 2022

    I’ve spotted a seal in the river before many years ago. I’d like to think that it’s the same one making a return every year for the fish run.

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