- Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-
Cascade Locks — Oregon State Police (OSP) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) are seeking information to identify the person(s) responsible for the theft of seven white sturgeon from Bonneville Hatchery last weekend.
Monday, October 1, 2007 an ODFW volunteer discovered the lower sturgeon pond at the hatchery was empty. There were seven sturgeon in the pond ranging from 2 1/2 feet to over 5 feet in length.
The small sturgeon pond is managed by ODFW hatchery staff and compliments the larger sturgeon exhibit created more recently in 1998 by the Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation and ODFW. The Sturgeon Viewing and Interpretive Center was designed as an educational opportunity for the public to view this prehistoric fish in a natural environment and learn about the history of sturgeon on the Columbia River.
"It's very disappointing that someone would steal these sturgeon away from the enjoyment of all Oregonians," says Greg Davis, Bonneville Hatchery Manager. "It really impacts our educational program – one that has been an Oregon favorite for many years."
Bonneville Hatchery is ODFW's flagship hatchery located 3 miles west of Cascade Locks, off of Interstate 84 within the Bonneville Dam Complex. Nearly half a million people visit Bonneville hatchery annually to view the sturgeon ponds.
The Columbia River's white sturgeon population remains one of the world's last healthy self-sustaining populations. The white sturgeon is the largest freshwater fish species in North America and can reach lengths of almost 20 feet, 1,000 pounds and may live well over 100 years.
Oregon State Police Senior Trooper Mike Hanson is investigating the crime. Anyone with information is asked to call OSP Northern Command Center dispatch at 800-452-7888.