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September 09, 2011
Contact: Olaf Langness (WDFW), 360-906-6741
Bev Walker (Vancouver), 360-487-7111

Free festival celebrates Columbia River sturgeon

VANCOUVER, Wash. - The Columbia River ecosystem and its primitive inhabitant, the sturgeon, will be honored here Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Fifteenth Annual Sturgeon Festival.

The free, one-day festival runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 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 Creature Feature Reptile Zoo.

Prize drawings for the fun and interactive photo challenge - titled "Scene a sturgeon lately?" - will take place on the day of the event. Entries must be turned in to the Water Center by 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12. Details about the contest can be obtained from http://www.cityofvancouver.us/watercenter.asp

Also on display will be the entries for Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's Clark County Fair coloring contest, and the Washington Federal Junior Duck Stamp contest.

In addition, teens and adults will have an opportunity to learn about recycling, watershed stewardship, 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.