Free Festival Celebrates Columbia River Sturgeon

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VANCOUVER, Wash. – The Columbia River ecosystem and its primitive inhabitant, the sturgeon, will be honored here May 31 and June 1 at the 12th annual Sturgeon Festival.

The free, two-day festival runs from noon to 4 p.m. both days at the Water Resources Education Center, 4600 S.E. Columbia Way in Vancouver. The festival is hosted by the City of Vancouver, with participation by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The popular event includes entertaining and educational activities for all ages. Special events include Portland Audubon Society’s Birds of Prey, Wild on Wildlife Live Bird & Mammal Show, the Gracie Learns the 3 Rs puppet show, Creature Feature Reptile Zoo, storyteller Ed Edmo and Eartha the Clown.

Young photographers from schools and colleges across Southwest Washington will receive recognition at 1 p.m. May 31 for their photos about the Columbia River Ecosystem. The photos will be on public display during the festival.

In addition, teens and adults will have an opportunity to learn about boating safety, aquatic invasive species prevention and salmon and sturgeon anatomy. They will also have a chance to discuss environmental issues and career opportunities with staff from natural resource agencies and environmental organizations.

The sturgeon, prevalent in the Columbia River, is a primitive fish that has not changed substantially since it emerged in the Jurassic period. Sturgeon are a long-lived species, reaching 5 to 6 feet in length by the age of maturity. A few sturgeon in the Columbia River have been verified to be over 100 years old.