Oregon’s Most Beloved Fish – 89 Year Old Herman The Sturgeon

Herman The Sturgeon.
Herman The Sturgeon. Photo by Theron Trowbridge via Flickr CC2.

In northern Oregon on the Columbia River lives a remarkable creature that has captured the hearts of locals and tourists alike: Herman the Sturgeon. At a whopping 89 years old, Herman is no ordinary fish, he's a living legend and a beloved icon at the ODFW Bonneville Dam Fish Hatchery.

Herman The Sturgeon

Herman The Sturgeon.
Herman The Sturgeon. Photo by Craigles75 via Flickr CC2.

The ODFW Bonneville Dam Fish Hatchery, is a popular attraction in Oregon. This is ODFW's biggest hatchery, and is used to grow Tule Fall Chinook and Coho Salmon, as well as summer and winter steelhead. Among these aquatic wonders, Herman stands out as an awe-inspiring specimen.

Herman has lived kind of a wild life. Once in the 80's Herman was kidnapped from a viewing pond at a different hatchery. Another time a man jumped into his viewing pond and stabbed him with a knife! We're all glad that Herman survived and is now living the good life. Since then, he has become an integral part of Oregon's natural heritage and a symbol of conservation efforts.

Herman The Sturgeon.
Herman The Sturgeon. Photo by ODFW via Flickr CC2.

Sturgeons, an ancient fish species that have survived since prehistoric times, haven't changed much over the millennia. Herman's presence serves as a living testament to their resilience and adaptability. Visitors to the hatchery can witness this living piece of history up close and learn about the importance of preserving not only this remarkable creature but also the delicate ecosystems that support his kind.

Herman The Sturgeon.
Herman The Sturgeon. Photo by Wayne Hsieh via Flickr CC2.

Over the years, Herman has grown into a true celebrity, drawing large crowds during special events and celebrations. Oregonians and tourists alike have come to cherish his presence, as he bridges the gap between the past and the present, connecting us to a time long before our modern world.

Herman's enduring legacy serves as a reminder of the vital role we play in protecting and nurturing our environment. His presence not only inspires awe but also sparks a sense of responsibility in all those who encounter him.

Bonneville Fish Hatchery Information

People taking selfies in front of the viewing port with Herman the Sturgeon.
Photo by Wayne Hsieh via Flickr CC2.

If you plan on visiting the fish hatchery, you can check out the display ponds all year, though the best time to see Coho Salmon and adult fall Chinook spawning is from September to October.

  • Hours: 7:30 AM - Dusk 7 days a week
  • Location: 70543 NE Herman Loop, Cascade Locks in Oregon

Have you ever been up to the Bonneville Dam Fish Hatchery to see Herman The Sturgeon? Let us know and tag the friends and family you want to go with!