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May 24, 2007
Contact: Olaf Langness (WDFW), 360-906-6741
Ginger May (Vancouver), 360-696-8478

Free festival celebrates Columbia River sturgeon

VANCOUVER, Wash.- The Columbia River ecosystem and its primitive inhabitant, the sturgeon, will be honored here June 2-3 at the 11th annual Sturgeon Festival.

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

The popular event includes entertaining and educational activities for all ages. Special events include Portland Audubon Society’s Rap with Raptors, the Mother Nature’s Garden puppet show, Reptile Man, Creature Feature Reptile Zoo and Eartha the Clown.

Young poets from classrooms and home schools across Southwest Washington will receive recognition at 1 p.m. June 2 for their haiku written on a sturgeon theme. The public will be able to view the finalists’ winning haiku and submit their own compositions during the festival.

In addition, teens and adults will have an opportunity to learn about salmon and sturgeon anatomy, and 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.