Hundreds of sturgeon stuck in shallow part of lake on Sauvie Island
SAUVIE ISLAND, Ore. -- There are hundreds of sturgeon stuck in a shallow pool in Sturgeon Lake on Sauvie Island, according to locals and state officials.
Dave Meyer, who lives on the island, says he first saw the trapped fish Saturday. He estimates there are 500 of the large, prehistoric fish that are trapped.
"They're a valuable resource to Oregon, they need to be saved as soon as possible," said Meyer.
It's unclear how the fish got there, but it may have something to do with extremely low river levels on the Columbia River right now. Sturgeon Lake is also heavily influenced by the river tide.
Sturgeon Lake is fed by channels from the Columbia River. The south end of the lake is extremely low, with just a few inches of water. There is not enough water to cover up the fish.
The fish apparently dug themselves a deeper pool with more water. Low water levels have cut them off from the rest of the lake. At least one large sturgeon appears to have died while trying to escape to deeper water.
"I have never seen them trapped here before," said Meyer.
A spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says they are aware of the trapped sturgeon. They installed a pump to bring extra water into the lake for the fish. Meyer says more needs to be done.
"This is a temporary solution, but it's not a savior, it's not going to save them," said Meyer.
Other expert fishermen told KATU News sturgeon are excellent survivors. They can live for several weeks without eating.
ODFW will reevaluate what to do on Monday. Officials say the overall sturgeon population in Oregon is not in danger.