or a cat or a basketball. Taking the long view, you have to admire
the individual sturgeon, very probably adolescent males, who over
the years were the first to eat such things as cats and cannonballs.
Perhaps it was accidental, but perhaps not, perhaps it was a brave
leap, and among the sturgeon of today there are legends of the first
heroes who inhaled volleyballs and badgers. This could be.
Postcard from PhotograPh taken by Wesley andre Ws
AT THE STURGEON VIEWING and Interpretive Center, at the
Bonneville Fish Hatchery, in Cascade Locks, Oregon, where Tanner
Creek empties into the Columbia River, near the immense Bonne-
ville Dam, there are three enormous sturgeon in a large open pond.
Two of them, each about eight feet long and weighing about an
eighth of a ton, have not as yet been given names by human beings.
The third is Herman, the most famous sturgeon in Oregon.
Herman is more than ten feet long and weighs almost five hundred
pounds. No one knows how old he is. He might be ninety years old.
There are references to Herman the Sturgeon in hatchery records
beginning in 1925. It is thought that there have been several Her-
mans, some exhibited annually at the Oregon State Fair. This
Herman, who is probably not the 1925 Herman, arrived at Bonne-
ville ten years ago, a mere nine feet and four hundred pounds,
then. Many thousands of people come to see Herman every year, as
they visit the hatchery’s spawning rooms, holding ponds, rearing
ponds, and egg incubation building, all of which are for salmon
and steelhead; the three sturgeon here, and the pool of massive
rainbow trout, are show ponies only, sturgeon and trout not being
as close to extinction as salmon and steelhead. This hatchery alone
raises a million coho salmon, 8 million chinook, and 300,000
steelhead every year, for release into various Oregon rivers. There
are fish everywhere at the hatchery, leaping and milling and swirl-
ing and startling visitors, and it is remarkable and piercing to see
so many miracles at once, so many mysterious beings, so many
individual adventures, so much excellent flaky accompaniment to
fine wine, and to think where they will go and what they will see,
some of them headed into the deepest thickets of the ocean, others
into the bellies of animals of every size and shape, but pretty much
every human visitor is here also to see Herman, and I station myself
in a dark corner of the center one afternoon and view the human
beings who come to view Herman.