The Columbia River ecosystem and its primitive inhabitant, the sturgeon, will be honored here Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Sixteenth Annual Sturgeon Festival.

The free, one-day festival runs from 10 a.m. to 2 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 Eartha the Ecological Clown and Creature Feature Reptile Zoo.

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.

Logo courtesy Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

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