Bonneville Fish Hatchery, Columbia Gorge (Oregon)

hunter sturgeon

It was another pouring rain day as we were driving along the Columbia River Gorge towards Hood River. Thanks to Tim needing to pee, we pulled off at the Bonneville Fish Hatchery for a quick stop. Tim ventured off while Hunter and I hunkered down in the truck, seeing no need to go out in the rain. The next thing you know, Tim is knocking on the truck window, holding our rain coats in his hands and telling us that we have to get out…

The Bonneville Fish Hatchery is a shared federal/state facility, which meant that it was actually open during the Federal Shutdown. It was built in 1909 and raises Chinook, Coho & Steelhead Salmon. The most amazing thing about the Hatchery is their Sturgeon pond/ viewing centre. Hunter is standing in front of Herman the Sturgeon who is 10 feet long, 425 lbs and over 60 years old!

sturgeon info




We were all in awe and probably stood and watched the sturgeon for 20 minutes. There were about 10 of them in the tank ranging from HUGE (10 ft) to BIG (8 ft) to little (2 ft) and they just swam around and around… It is amazing to think that these fish can live to over 100 years old. They have been close to extinction at times and now have very tight fishing guidelines to ensure their longevity is maintained.

sturgeon timeline

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