Three months ago, in partnership with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, Willow Creek Fish Hatchery, and Issaquah Fish Hatchery, our fourth grade students began to study the life cycle of the salmon, their important role in our ecosystem, and how we can help be stewards of the resources God has given us.
Issaquah Fish Hatchery gave King’s elementary 200 salmon eggs to raise in the classroom. The students started with three formal salmon observations. They then made predictions as to when the eggs would hatch. They also looked at the different types of salmon in the Pacific Northwest.
Students watched the salmon grow in the classroom and learned about factors that contribute to or hinder the cool, clean, clear water that salmon need in order to grow and survive. The project was a success and only five salmon were lost throughout the entire process.
After three months of watching the Coho eggs develop into fry, the students culminated their salmon-raising project by releasing them into Willow Creek in Edmonds on Thursday, March 23. Students “named” their fry and sent them on their way with hopes of survival. Finally, they visited the Hiram M. Chittenden Ballard Locks to further their learning on how salmon mature and return to rivers and streams to start their life cycle all over again.
Coho and King salmon numbers have dropped due to environmental changes and overfishing. King’s students and families are impacting our environment and continuing to make salmon a sustainable resource by raising fish and taking care of the resources God has given to us.
To learn more about the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Salmon in the Classroom program, visit http://siskingsno.org/background/.