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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


May 14, 2009
Contact: Olaf Langness (WDFW), 360-906-6741
Ginger May (City of Vancouver), 360-487-7115

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Free festival celebrates Columbia River sturgeon

VANCOUVER, Wash. The Columbia River ecosystem and its primitive inhabitant, the sturgeon, will be honored at the 13th annual Sturgeon Festival.

The free, two-day event will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31 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 the Wild on Wildlife bird presentation, puppet shows, Portland Audubon Birds of Prey, the Creature Feature Reptile Zoo and Chinook Tribal Lore.

Young photographers from schools and colleges across Southwest Washington will receive recognition at 1 p.m. May 30 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 more than 100 million years ago. Sturgeon are a long-lived species, often reaching five to six feet in length by the age of maturity. A few Columbia River sturgeon, measuring twice that length, have been verified to be over 100 years old.