Significant effort towards conservation has contributed to the recovery of historically depleted pinniped populations world-wide. However, in several locations where pinnipeds have increased, they have been blamed for preventing the recovery of commercially valuable fish species through predation. Prompted by increasing pinniped abundance within the Columbia River (CR) USA, over a six year period, we used Passive Integrated Transponder tags to measure the survival of adult spring-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) through the estuary and lower CR to Bonneville Dam (Rkm 234). We estimated 51 751 - 224 705 salmon died annually from sources other than harvest. Mixed-effects logistic regression modelling identified pinniped predation as the most likely source. The odds of survival was estimated to decrease by 32% (95% CI: 6%-51% decrease) for every additional 467 sea lions, and to increase by 32% (95% CI: 8%-61% increase) for every increase of 1.5 in the log of American shad (Alosa sapidissima), a potential prey item for sea lions. A third covariate was the adipose clip status of the fish, indicating whether it was eligible for harvest.