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Old 03-18-2009, 03:56 PM   #1
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Unhappy Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

A friend emailed me the following report and photos. I do not know who wrote the note, and I don’t know if it is accurate. Pretty amazing whatever the actual facts are!

I spoke to the WDFW biologist referred to below and he provided the following info: These pictures were taken last Thursday from [somewhere in Washington]. He thinks most survived being trapped in the channel, with a few big ones perishing. He found 8 dead ones in an extensive survey yesterday, all in the 6-10 foot range only Columbia origin fish have been documented in [somewhere in Washington], although others, particularly Fraser fish are probably here. He thinks the Skagit and other bays may get similar utilization, but they just haven't been discovered there as much.

Greetings -This has to be the most fascinating [somewhere in Washington] sturgeon event of the decade. Our hero Brett received these pictures of dozens of sturgeon trapped in a tidal ditch near [somewhere in Washington]. When I called Brett on his cell phone to confirm the authenticity of the pictures, I caught him out on the tidal flats leaning over a dead 9 foot sturgeon. Unfortunately this was the only fish he could find and sample. If this happens again and Brett is able to access this mob of sturgeon, he could sample (measure and scan for PIT tags) a huge sample. In 3 hours two people could collect the equivalent data of 10 years of chasing anglers and the odd sport-caught sturgeon. Brett will send a quick report and advice once he gets back on dry land. If access to these fish is possible in the future, I will offer to try and organize a "scanning party" from BC (volunteers with scanners, measuring tapes, data sheets, and chest waders) if this would be of any assistance. A friend took these pics last Thursday at a mudflat [somewhere in Washington]. He estimated there were 1500 sturgeon stuck in the ditch.







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Old 03-18-2009, 04:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

Man that is amazing, the tide must have ran out pretty fast to strand that many at one time.
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

Ive seen something similar but not that extensive around here. Incredible.
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

Thats incredible... I wonder how often that occurs? I would imagine that would be a rare thing to see happen. I still just can't imagine how that many ended up getting stranded together in that channel...
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

This is sad to see. Bummer
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

IT almost looks like one of those guys has a fishing rod in his hand.... Hope not....
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

that is a drag.
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:41 PM   #8
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Holy Smokes!!!!!!
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

crazy stuff..
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

Thats pretty amazing - I am glad the email said most live... does that one guy have one up on the sand... it looks like the other guy has a rod!
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:57 PM   #11
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

Quit a few look like there sucking air, thatís not good. Look's like there vary stressed, hope not to many die.
Would hope the ones that do die, will serve a good cause, research , food bank? Would have been cool to have been there.
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Old 03-18-2009, 05:08 PM   #12
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

Interesting to see, but it might be smart to remove the specific location from the post to keep some idiots from going down there to grab a few sturgeon the next time it happens. Probably not the first nor last time unfortunately.

Just goes to show you how tough sturgeon are!
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Old 03-18-2009, 05:17 PM   #13
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

I would bet that most of those fish survive that. Sturgeon can live out of water longer than most fish. Still, that can't be good for them.
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Old 03-18-2009, 05:58 PM   #14
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

Seems like they've got a healthy population up there.
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Old 03-18-2009, 06:16 PM   #15
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

Those fish probably came out of the Willamete and did not have enough functioning brain cells to swim out. It is a wast of good resources unfortunatley and with about a 12 hour tide turnaround I don't know how many could survive.
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Old 03-18-2009, 06:18 PM   #16
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

PLEASE,PLEASE,PLEASE delete the location.
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Old 03-18-2009, 06:58 PM   #17
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Please delete the location. There is no good that can come from this.
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:10 PM   #18
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Please delete the location. There is no good that can come from this.

Done!
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:43 PM   #19
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

man pretty cool. So is it then legal (I realize its not ethical) to go in and grab one?
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:53 PM   #20
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

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man pretty cool. So is it then legal (I realize its not ethical) to go in and grab one?

yes that would be both unethical and also iilegal at the same time
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:59 PM   #21
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its a good thing sturgeon are tough.
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:31 PM   #22
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

Hmmm.. "incredible, amazing, and cool" aren't really the words that come to mind...

More like horrible and awful!
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:35 PM   #23
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

crazy sight...when I worked in the pet field we would have fish that would be out of the water on dry land for 12 hours and could still swim off and they were nowhere as tuff as sturgeon....hope they made it.
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:52 PM   #24
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I asked a couple fishermen at Bonneville once if they'd had any luck, and they're 9 yr old soon promptly dragged a couple keepers out from beneath the van-- both fish were gilling. I asked how long it had been since they were caught, and while the kid tried to balance on the back of one fish, his dad told me one had been caught an hour ago and the other one 3 hrs ago. Hopefully these fish made it-- at least they didn't have a 9 year using them as a balancing beam.
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:53 PM   #25
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

I heard they were tough. Rather than try and keep that area a secret, you should just go to the commission, and mandate a ban on retention of sturgeon in that area. That way people who go down there to save them, can do so, and they wont have to die unnecessarily.
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Old 03-18-2009, 09:41 PM   #26
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

Incredible post! Thank you for sharing.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:08 AM   #27
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

I have just started Sturgeon fishing the last year and finally caught a keeper. When I saw this, I almost cried. How could this have happened. Is there some enomally that could have caused this? You hear of Dolphins and Whales beaching themselves, but Sturgeon ? This needs to be researched.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:39 AM   #28
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Fascinating! Pictures are worth a thousand words!
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:26 AM   #29
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

I bet it had to do with the timing of a new moon (where the tides are the highest and lowest)

In the lunar cycle, the moon was closest to earth last December. I bet the photos are from then.

RC
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:30 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoylentGreen View Post
man pretty cool. So is it then legal (I realize its not ethical) to go in and grab one?
Many years ago while staying in the campground near this area I awoke early in the morning and looked out on the flats at a very low tide. Off in the distance I could see a guy swinging something at a tide pool. Got dressed and went to investigate, when I got out there, about 400 yards from the bank, the guy was swinging a clam shovel at a group of spring chinook that were caught much like this pic of the sturgeon. He had several drug up on the sand and several more were in the water swimming with deep gashes from the clam shovel. I went back to camp to tell everyone what I had seen but by the time they got out of bed the tide had came in and they did not believe that I even walked that far out there.
I`ve heard that the indians used to build weirs in this area to direct fish into these tide pools were they could be easily harvested. Could be the new selective fisheries method?
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:57 AM   #31
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

Never expected to see something like that.......
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:17 AM   #32
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

Wow i've never seen so many live sturgeon in one spot.
It tells you something about how many are really out there on the columbia or the willamette we can't see.

Thanks for the post.
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:27 AM   #33
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

Sad sight to see. Wouldn't want any species to get stranded like that.
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Old 03-19-2009, 08:00 AM   #34
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Whats sad to me is the media will be all over a couple of seals traped but not one single word about this tragic incident is that because these are "game fish" ?
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Old 03-19-2009, 08:12 AM   #35
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Deleted location:

Quote:
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Done!
Something to think about.
I don't know specifically where that is, although I recognize some of the mountains.

If you want to protect these fish, the more publicity the better IMO.

It may not even be necessary since tides up there have come and gone at least twice...

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Old 03-19-2009, 08:15 AM   #36
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wow what a side site.. Hope that dude with the rod wasnt fishing.
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Old 03-19-2009, 08:46 AM   #37
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

The fish are all gone now, so I don't think we need to worry about the location. I also would be willing to bet that most of them live. Sturgeon have been living in tidewater a long time. I've seen sturgeon alive in the air for 3 and 4 hours at a time, and the tide would only have been out a couple hours. It was a coolish day, too.
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:17 AM   #38
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Sturgeon are so tough some of them may have sprouted legs and walked back to the water, if they were there long enough.
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:32 AM   #39
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

I know of a couple places that this happens frequently at. I don't know where this was at, but it does look like one of the areas I know of. a couple of the areas I see this at has a mixed bag of species caught in tide pools like this.
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:26 AM   #40
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

I hope most of those fish survived. That would be a terrible way to go.

Imagine spending 100 years evading predators and fisherman only to get stranded on a mudflat during low tide.
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:27 AM   #41
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

You would think through maybe a million years of evolution, Sturgeon getting stranded on a mud flat would be a regular occurence. Thus nature has prob adapted them to last for awhile out of water or in very shallow water. Catfish live out of water for quite some time and that species would also be exposed to being stranded.

Thats my amateur biology lesson for the day.

I know where those pics were taken. Even though I was raised in PDX and fished Springers in the Willy going back into the 50's, I've never fished for Gators. I need to find someone who knows what they are doing, fire up the Seahawk and take a whack that spot.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:15 PM   #42
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i've seen them left in the back of a truck overnight and they were still trying to breathe the next day. i think sturgeon are second only to catfish in the toughness department.
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:09 PM   #43
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To bad the seattle daily paper caught wind of it, the word will be out soon(today or tommorow) SAD being going there for years with gramps
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:50 PM   #44
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So thats what "so many fish you could walk accros the river" looks like.

I would image the mass majority of those fish are just fine.
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:25 PM   #45
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Are those guys noodling? Ha
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:31 PM   #46
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To bad the seattle daily paper caught wind of it, the word will be out soon(today or tommorow) SAD being going there for years with gramps

That (petunias) MEDIA!

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Old 03-19-2009, 04:37 PM   #47
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We duck hunt that area. There is a good population of sturgeon in that slough and the adjoining river system.
We have seen them swimming in the mud when there is a real low tide, but that mud will suck you in.
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:13 PM   #48
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Looks like a bad dream. Creepy fish in a creepy situation..yuk
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:05 PM   #49
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Creepy fish? Sturgeon are the most perfect fish ever. They are so perfect, they haven't had to change in thousands of years. They are truly beautiful.

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Old 03-19-2009, 06:11 PM   #50
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STGrule you should have been out calming the sturgeon with hugs...
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:30 PM   #51
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Sorry. I was out in the field down here hugging baby salmon. The ugly stepsister to the sturgeon.
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:54 PM   #52
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We'll have WDFW biologist Chad Jackson on the show this Saturday to talk about this sturgeon-stranding. He'll probably be on around 7:30 a.m.

JS/NWWC
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:57 PM   #53
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Creepy fish? Sturgeon are the most perfect fish ever. They are so perfect, they haven't had to change in thousands of years. They are truly beautiful.

Proud sturgeon hugger.
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:02 PM   #54
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I figured I could troll up STGRule on that last comment

OK, ok...........they do 'taste' good!

But donchagotalkinsmack about those baby salmon, now
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:19 PM   #55
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Amazin!!! Good to know most of them made it!
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Old 03-19-2009, 08:28 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by NWWildCountry View Post
We'll have WDFW biologist Chad Jackson on the show this Saturday to talk about this sturgeon-stranding. He'll probably be on around 7:30 a.m.

JS/NWWC
What show? TV, radio..? What channel?
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:39 PM   #57
happybrew
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

Wow, that's just amazing. I hope most of them made it.
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:52 PM   #58
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

thats crazy
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Old 03-21-2009, 05:50 AM   #59
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterfish View Post
What show? TV, radio..? What channel?
Northwest Wild Country Radio show
950KJR 6-8 am every Sat.
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:47 AM   #60
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Default Re: Hundreds of sturgeon stranded (pics)

other than the 8 or so that were found dead the others survived; the tide came in pretty fast.
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