600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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September 15, 2016
Contact: Olaf Langness (WDFW), 360-906-6741
Cory Samia (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 20th Annual Sturgeon Festival.

The free, one-day festival runs from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Water Resources Education Center, 4600 S.E. Columbia Way, in Vancouver. The festival is hosted by the City of Vancouver in partnership with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

While sturgeon have top billing, the popular festival features a variety of entertaining and educational activities for all ages. New this year is #SturgeonFestRocks, involving kids, painted rocks and prizes. (See http://www.cityofvancouver.us/publicworks/page/sturgeon-festival.)

Other events include the popular Birds of Prey Show, a live reptile display, and Eartha the Ecological Clown along with her performing cockatoo. WDFW will also dissect a sturgeon, giving festivalgoers a close-up view of the species' anatomy.

Prevalent in the Columbia River, the sturgeon is a primitive fish that has not changed substantially since it emerged millions of years ago. 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 80 years old.