Dozens of sea lions overrun privately-owned Ballard dock

SEATTLE — Dozens of sea lions nestled on a privately-owned dock in Ballard this weekend.

Chip Croteau has worked at Ray’s Cafe for years. The restaurant is located next to the dock, which has brought many people to catch a glimpse of the sea lions themselves.

“They’re our new neighbors. They’ve been a pleasure to have around,” Croteau said. “There’s always (marine mammal) activity in some way, shape, or form. But the sea lions, the way they’ve been on the little barges out there in the dozens is new.”

Ron Kornfeld spent part of his Sunday capturing photos of the sea lions in Ballard.

“There’s a lot of interactions between the different levels of hierarchies of sea lions,” Kornfeld said. “Very entertaining. I see they’re putting up fences, though, because not everybody’s as entertained as I am.”

Workers put up temporary fencing around parts of the privately-owned dock on Sunday. Property owners could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

The marine mammals who’ve descended upon Ballard are California sea lions. They can be found from the southern tip of Baja California to southeast Alaska, according to Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife. Males can weigh up to 1,000 pounds, according to the agency.

“I think if I was one of the neighbors here, I might not appreciate the 24-hour-a-day symphony of sea lion fun,” Kornfeld said. “But they have their space, so they’re OK.”

“They’re just chatty Kathys,” Croteau said. “They’re just always barking and causing a ruckus. But honestly, they’re a real delight for us to have.”