This year’s Salmon in the Classroom program kicked off in early January, with our Education & Outreach Coordinator, Maggie, setting up tanks at both Mansfield Elementary and Lake Roosevelt Junior High School.
After the water in the tanks had time to acclimate, we picked up 500 Summer Chinook eggs from Eastbank Hatchery to deliver to the schools. We placed 250 in each tank, watched the eggs settle in the gravel bottom, then went over the salmonid life cycle stages, habitat health and enviornmental impacts on salmon survival, as well as estimating a hatch date by thermal unit calculations.
Over the next months, students will monitor water quality parameters in the tank, like temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen and will adjust accordingly to keep rearing environments healthy for the young fry. Colville Confederated Tribes will also be leading Mansfield students through a Cultural Importance unit to help students make connections between the history of Columbia River salmon and local tribes.
In April students will release salmon, transferring the young fry from their rearing tanks into their natural environment within the Columbia River. Programs like Salmon in the Classroom help students make connections with their local natural environment, while promoting science and environmental education.
Thank you to the Department of Ecology for supporting this program.