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Fun With Sturgeon | Northwest Power and Conservation Council Header Menu Contact Search About Integrating energy and the environment in the Columbia River Basin About the Council Mission and Strategy Members and Staff Bylaws Policies Careers / RFPs News See what the Council is up to. Read the latest news Read All News Press Resources Newsletters International Columbia River Explore News by Topic Fish and Wildlife Planning Salmon and Steelhead Wildlife Energy Planning Energy Efficiency Demand Response Fish and Wildlife The Council works to protect and enhance fish and wildlife in the Columbia River Basin. Its Fish & Wildlife Program guides project funding by the Bonneville Power Administration. 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Webinar - Draft Residential DR Product Assumptions 1:30 pm—4:30 pm Columbia Basin Habitat RM&E Strategy Workshop #1 5:00 pm—6:30 pm Public Hearing on Proposed Amendments to the Fish and Wildlife Program 5:00 pm—6:30 pm Public Hearing on Proposed Amendments to the Fish and Wildlife Program Oct 2019Tue08 1:00 pm—4:00 pm Large-group Technical Consultation on the Fish and Wildlife Program Oct 2019TueWed15 - 16 Council Meeting Oct 2019Tue15 5:00 pm—6:30 pm Public Hearing on Proposed Amendments to the Fish and Wildlife Program Oct 2019Tue22 9:00 am—4:00 pm RTF Meeting: October 22, 2019 Oct 2019Wed23 9:00 am—12:00 pm Columbia Basin Habitat RM&E Strategy Workshop-Boise Oct 2019Thu24 9:30 am—3:30 pm Conservation Resources Advisory Committee Oct 2019Mon28 9:00 am—12:00 pm Columbia Basin Habitat RM&E Strategy Workshop - The Dalles 1:00 pm—3:00 pm Informal Hatchery Workgroup Oct 2019Tue29 9:30 am—3:00 pm Generating Resources Advisory Committee Oct 2019Wed30 9:30 am—3:45 pm Demand Response Advisory Committee Nov 2019Wed06 9:30 am—2:30 pm System Analysis Advisory Committee Nov 2019TueWed12 - 13 Council Meeting Nov 2019Wed13 1:00 pm—4:00 pm Columbia Basin Habitat RM&E Strategy Workshop - Portland Nov 2019Thu14 9:00 am—11:00 am Proposal Form Webinar - Resident Fish and Sturgeon Review Nov 2019Mon18 12:30 pm—3:30 pm Columbia Basin Habitat RM&E Strategy Workshop - Wenatchee Nov 2019Tue19 9:00 am—4:00 pm RTF Meeting: November 19, 2019 Dec 2019Wed04 9:00 am—2:30 pm Conservation Resources Advisory Committee Dec 2019Thu05 9:00 am—11:00 am Proposal Form Webinar - Resident Fish and Sturgeon Review Dec 2019Fri06 9:30 am—3:00 pm Generating Resources Advisory Committee Dec 2019Tue10 Council Meeting via Webinar Dec 2019Thu12 9:30 am—3:30 pm Demand Response Advisory Committee Dec 2019Mon16 5:30 pm—7:30 pm Town Hall Meeting on Modernizing the Columbia River Treaty Dec 2019Tue17 9:00 am—4:00 pm RTF Meeting: December 17, 2019 Dec 2019Wed18 9:00 am—12:00 pm Natural Gas Advisory Comm. Webinar Dec 2019Thu19 1:30 pm—4:30 pm System Analysis Advisory Comm. WEBINAR Jan 2020Tue07 9:30 am—12:00 pm Generating Resource Advisory Committee Jan 2020Wed08 10:00 am—5:00 pm Program Goals and Objectives Workshop Jan 2020Thu09 8:30 am—4:00 pm Program Goals and Objectives Workgroup Jan 2020Tue14 Council Meeting Jan 2020Wed22 9:00 am—4:00 pm RTF Meeting: January 22, 2020 Jan 2020Thu23 1:00 pm—4:00 pm System Analysis Advisory Comm. Jan 2020Wed29 9:30 am—3:30 pm Conservation Resources Advisory Committee Jan 2020Thu30 1:30 pm—4:30 pm Demand Forecast Advisory Committee Webinar Feb 2020Mon10 9:30 am—4:00 pm 1st Salmon and Steelhead Strategy Performance Indicator Workshop Feb 2020TueWed11 - 12 Council Meeting Feb 2020Wed12 1:00 pm—4:30 pm Sturgeon Strategy Performance Indicator Workshop Feb 2020Wed19 9:00 am—4:00 pm RTF Meeting: February 19, 2020 Feb 2020Thu20 9:30 am—3:30 pm Demand Response Advisory Committee Feb 2020Thu27 9:30 pm—12:00 pm Generating Resources Advisory Committee Mar 2020Tue10 9:30 am—3:00 pm SIF: 2021 Power Plan Scenario Review Mar 2020Wed11 10:00 am—3:00 pm Wildlife Goals and Objectives continued and Wildlife Strategy Performance Indicators Mar 2020Fri13 9:00 am—3:00 pm RTF Policy Advisory Committee Meeting Mar 2020Mon16 8:30 am—4:30 pm 2nd Salmon and Steelhead Strategy Performance Indicator Workshop and Resident Fish Strategy Performance Indicator Workshop Mar 2020TueWed17 - 18 Council Meeting Mar 2020Wed18 1:00 pm—4:00 pm A Lamprey Strategy Performance Indicator Workshop Mar 2020Tue24 9:00 am—4:00 pm RTF Meeting: March 24, 2019 Mar 2020Tue31 9:30 am—3:30 pm Conservation Resources Advisory Committee Apr 2020Mon13 9:00 am—4:30 pm 3rd Salmon and Steelhead Strategy Performance Indicator Workshop Apr 2020TueWed14 - 15 Council Meeting Apr 2020Tue21 9:00 am—4:00 pm RTF Meeting: April 21, 2020 Apr 2020Wed22 9:30 am—3:30 pm Demand Response Advisory Committee May 2020TueWed12 - 13 Council Meeting May 2020Tue19 9:00 am—4:00 pm RTF Meeting: May 19, 2020 Jun 2020Fri05 9:00 am—3:00 pm RTF Policy Advisory Committee Meeting Jun 2020TueWed16 - 17 Council Meeting Jun 2020Tue23 9:00 am—4:00 pm RTF Meeting: June 23, 2020 Jul 2020TueWed14 - 15 Council Meeting Jul 2020Tue21 9:00 am—4:00 pm RTF Meeting: July 21, 2020 View Council Meetings View all Meetings Reports and Documents Browse reports and documents relevant to the Council's work on fish and wildlife and energy planning, as well as administrative reports. Browse reports Reports by Topic Power Plan Fish and Wildlife Program Subbasin Plans Financial Reports Independent Scientific Advisory Board Independent Scientific Review Panel Independent Economic Analysis Board Columbia River History Project CloseFun With Sturgeon Annual family-oriented festival in Vancouver, Washington, draws hundreds to learn about sturgeon and other fish and wildlife in the Columbia River Basin. September 20, 2016 John Harrison Share

A six-foot fiberglass sturgeon, coasters in the shape of the toothy mouth of a Pacific lamprey, temporary sturgeon tattoos, a sturgeon coloring page, and a big map of the Columbia River Basin were all part of the Council’s interactive display at this year’s sturgeon festival in Vancouver, Washington. The annual September event, designed for families, attracted more than 400 people to the city’s Water Resources Education Center on the Columbia River on a rainy Saturday.

The festival, a partnership between the city and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, informs people about sturgeon and Columbia River ecosystems and offers a variety of opportunities to learn about fish and other animals in and around the Columbia River. The Council took the opportunity of the festival to explain the work underway on behalf of sturgeon through the Council’s Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program. And also, of course, to have some fun with children and their parents – showing the size of the Columbia River Basin, talking about the dams and species of fish and wildlife found throughout the basin, passing out the stickers, tattoos and coasters, and using the model to show the unique features of sturgeon.


Patrick Cooney, Julie Harris, and Evelyn with a sturgeon age chart

Historically, sturgeon in the Columbia system were highly migratory – they were capable of going hundreds of miles up the Columbia and to and from the ocean during their long lives. Sturgeon can live more than 80 years and grow to weigh more than a ton. Some populations are land-locked, either because dams block their passage to the ocean or, in the case of Kootenai River white sturgeon in northern Idaho, they were isolated by geologic upheavals thousands of years ago.

Hydropower dams have adversely affected sturgeon by altering the velocity and timing of river flows, which are important for spawning. Sturgeon also are susceptible to changes in water temperature, and the turbidity and depth of the water, all of which are affected by dam operations. The Council’s fish and wildlife program devotes about $13 million annually out of a roughly $260 million budget to mitigate the impacts of hydropower dams on sturgeon, most of it on the Kootenai River population, an endangered species. Only the population downstream of Bonneville Dam, the only Columbia Basin sturgeon whose passage to the ocean is not blocked, is considered healthy.


Council Fish and Wildlife Division staff member Lynn Palensky with visitors to the Council's display

Topics:  Fish and wildlife Tags:  Sturgeon Related News
Jan 23, 2020

Council Appoints Patty O’Toole to Fish and Wildlife Director

The Council has appointed Patty O’Toole to the position of Fish and Wildlife Division Director. She had been the division’s acting director since August 15, 2019.

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Jan 13, 2020

Ceremony Honors Groundbreaking For Umatilla Tribes' Long Awaited Walla Walla Salmon Hatchery

Planning that began in the late 1980s finally is over and construction can begin on a spring Chinook hatchery on the South Fork Walla Walla River that will be operated by the Umatilla Tribe.

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Dec 17, 2019

Introducing the Northern Pike Web Tool

Learn more about the problem of invasive Northern Pike and how you can help prevent the spread of this species in the basin on the Council's new web tool.

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Nov 15, 2019

Fish and Wildlife Program Cost Savings Help Pay For Fish Screen Repairs

Submerged for nearly 30 years, an irrigation canal's fish screens needed major repairs. Cost savings from projects in the Council's program paid for the work.

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