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Friday, June 4, 2010

Sturgeon Boats

June 4, 2010

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.


cieldequimper said...

No hints, sorry, I've never cooked it and am not sure I've ever eaten it. But wowowow, that sky! Just like here (except that it's too hot for me here). Tomorrow I am off to the Atlantic coast, I betcha the weather's going to change just when I get the chance to go to the beach! Lovely photo Sheryl and great informative post that reminds me of my (Atlantic) fishing days.

Clytie said...

No hints from me, either. My ex-FIL caught one once, but it was already turned into smoked sturgeon by the time I had any. It was very very good that way!

Our local Channel 12 guy - Joe V was in Astoria this morning - covering the Goonies weekend. I was glued to my TV every time his segment started. I hear the "Mikey" house is going to be giving guided tours! Hint, Hint!! :=}

I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

~Cheryl said...

I love driving over that bridge! That's a lot of boats -- and that's an amazing site (I have it bookmarked!) Hope you have a great weekend!

Small City Scenes said...

I have cooked sturgeon before and it is very good. My SIL fished the lower Columbia and caught some. He had it flash frozen and I had no problem. I just cook it in the oven topped with S and P and butter and it is great. MB

Francisca said...

Lovely morning you had there, Sheryl. It is rather odd how a fish, no matter how fresh, can turn to rubber sometimes. My honey is widely acknowledged to be the king of fish steaming Chinese style, and still once in a blue moon, his fish (usually garoupa, my favorite) is strangely rubbery. We always thought that was a sign that the fish wasn't fresh enough. Some say it means the fish is over-cooked, but I don't accept that as the only possible reason; the fish starts to curl almost immediately when it starts to heat. Frozen fish tends to become mushy when thawed unless it was "quick" or "flash" frozen as soon as it came out of the water. (That's a lot, coming from a non-expert! LOL). Nice post, Sheryl.

VP said...

That's easy for me, I don't like eating fish!
That image of the bridge over the boats is overwhelming!

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