I took this bright blue photo this morning before the clouds covered the sky again. Usually on a nice day like this, you might see one, two, three, or four (or a few more) fishing boats on the water near town. Today they are out in great numbers, the folks on board hoping to outsmart the sturgeon in the water, or just get lucky.
When I moved to Astoria in 2001, one of the first unusual things I noticed was a sturgeon being flung into the back of a waiting pickup truck about half a block from the river. People fish off the piers and docks right in town during sturgeon season. The most surreal thing about it was that the fish was amost as big as the guy who caught it.
Only a single point barbless hook can be used, and you can only keep a sturgeon whose "fork length" (nose to the fork in the tail) is between 41 and 54 inches. (104.1 to 137.2 cm) The season opened on the lower Columbia River on May 22, and the time and location limit is "from Buoy 10 to the Wauna powerlines seven days a week . . . with a statewide annual limit of five fish" and a daily limit of one per person.
Sturgeon can be yummy if you cook them right, or it can smell and chew like rubber. One secret I found is to either cook it immediately, or leave it wrapped in the fridge for a couple of days. You can also freeze and thaw it. I had the rubber problem with sturgeon cooked the day after someone caught it. Any hints from readers?
While we're on length conversions, there is an amazing web site I learned about recently called WolframAlfa. You can get it to return basic information like this, detailed information like this, or surprisingly detailed information like this. Or a comparison like this or this. Or maybe you'd like to compare the states of Washington and Oregon. The video intro is very cool.
This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.