Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Salmon Release

On Wednesday, March 13th our 4th graders released the salmon that we raised since they were eggs. It was an exciting day and a great opportunity to learn more about hatcheries and the process of helping salmon populations grow in the Pacific Northwest.  Check out what went on that day!

The 4th graders on their way to Drano Lake in Washington state.  Thanks to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service we were able to ride in style with charter buses.

Once at Drano Lake, Mr. Sean talked to us about why we want to release the salmon at this spot.  Just down the road is the hatchery that our salmon eggs came from.  By releasing them in Drano Lake the salmon fry will become familiar with the waters and hopefully find their way back here 3-4 years from now to spawn.

The USFW folks scooped out 2-3 fry out for every student to release in to the water.  We carried them all the way out here in a bucket!

It was really interesting to find salmon bones on the edge of the lake.  We think they might have been left by a bald eagle or other animal that ate one of the adult salmon that came back to spawn last fall.

Once we released all the fry into Drano Lake we drove a mile down the road to the Spring Creek Fish Hatchery.  We were given a tour of the facility, saw the fish ladder, and learned about the process of rasing hatchery salmon.

These tanks hold thousands of small salmon fry in the spring while they grow, just like the ones we raised in our school aquarium.  Can you spot the fry?

Hatchery employees feed all the fish daily as they grow waiting to be released.  Students got to do the feeding this time!

In the spring it is also time to clip the adipose fin on the salmon.  This is the way to identify if it is a hatchery fish or a wild salmon.  Fishermen are only allowed to keep hatchery salmon.  The salmon do not need their adipose fin and it does not hurt them to have this clipped off.  There are big machines that do the clipping but sometimes a fish misses the machine so a person cuts it by hand with scissors.

This is the fish ladder that adult salmon climb to get back to the hatchery in the fall.  Once they make it all the way up the ladder they will rest in the same tanks where they were baby fry until it is time for spawning.

Thank you U.S. Fish and Wildlife for making this experience possible!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Salmon Dissection

March 4, 2014

-Measuring their length and girth

-Where is the best place to make the incision?

-The swim bladder is still inflated. The swim bladder allows the salmon to float.

-Taking a closer look at the heart

Saying Goodbye to Our Salmon!

   March 12, 2014

   This Thursday, 4th graders are taking the salmon to Drano Lake in Washington to release our salmon that have been with us since January. Let's hope our Chinook salmon grow up to lay their own eggs!

On the other hand, we do have some sad news.We have lost another salmon. Now we are only releasing 148 salmon into the lake on Thursday. Hopefully we will not lose any more. 

By Isabel Rich

This fallen soldier looked underdeveloped compared to the rest. It's yolk sac looked torn, perhaps by the rocks. It was at the bottom between the pebbles unmoving and with further observation we noticed its gills were not moving either.

-Class post

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Our Salmon are Swimming!

Our salmon have started swimming! Some are still huddled in the corner trying to swim. Their yolk sacs are a silver color.

The fourth grade class rooms have made many fish with clever adaptions.

By Isabel

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A new level

The salmon seem like they are on a new level they  are 70 days old.
Jewyl took a nice picture of what the salmon look like

A new phase

Pictures by Desa'rae, Jewel, Sydney, and Amir
The salmon look like they are on day 70- fry trying to swim