Scores of sturgeon stuck in lake on Sauvie Island after water levels drop


State officials used a pump to try to raise water levels in a pond that formed off the main body of water at Sturgeon Lake, trapping hundreds of fish. Courtesy/ODFW

As many as 200 sturgeon were stranded in Sturgeon Lake on Sauvie Island Monday after water levels dropped and left the fish cut off from the main body of water and isolated in a shallow muddy pool, officials said.

A nearby resident first noticed the distinctive fins of the large fish, whose evolutionary characteristics date back more than 200 million years, in a pond that was separated from the rest of the lake by a vast mud flat, said Rick Swart, a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The agency rented a pump and began putting water into the pond where the fish were trapped, both to raise the water level to give the animals a means to escape and also to raise the oxygen levels in the water.

“We’re hoping to buy the fish sometime,” Swart said. “Whether it’s from mother nature or us, I’m not sure, but they need some help.




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