Salmon in the Classroom

Students release salmon as end to unique classroom project

August 30, 2012 // 0 Comments

by CINDY M. CRANMER East Rockford Middle School (ERMS) students ended a unique classroom experience with a field trip to the Rogue River and the release of about 30 Chinook salmon smolts into the river. The program, Salmon in the Classroom, was funded by the Grand River Fly Tyers and involved a partnership between the seventh-grade biology classes at ERMS, the Fly Tyers and the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE). The Grand River Fly Tyers provided all the aquarium equipment and financial support for the program. Jeff Bryant, a seventh-grade teacher at ERMS, took the training and involved his biology and science students in the program. “The culmination of this science project with the release of the salmon has been great,” Bryant said. “The students selected have been so excited.” Approximately 130 students in five different classes were involved with 25 being randomly selected to attend the field trip to release the salmon smolts in the Rogue River. The DNRE participates in the year-long program by providing the teachers who are involved in the program with training and fertilized salmon eggs from a DNRE fish hatchery. The students hatch the eggs out, feed and raise the small fry in a tank, and then release the three- to four-inch young salmon smolts into the Rogue River. The salmon will eventually make their way to Lake Michigan, where they will live for three to four years before returning to the Rogue River in Rockford to spawn. About 200 Chinook salmon eggs were placed into the tank on November 8, 2011 and about 30 were released into the Rogue River at Richardson-Sowerby Park on May 9, 2012. Losing so many salmon in the first year is not unusual and also teaches the students a lesson about nature and survival. “This was really fun to see them everyday and now to release them,” said Grace Kropiewnicki, seventh-grader. “I was really excited to be selected.” Kropiewnicki said the students may see the salmon again someday, or at least maybe people like her brother who fish in the Rogue River. The Salmon in the Classroom program has been running for several years. It teaches students about everything from the life cycles of salmon to life history of fish to […]

Students raise Salmon in the Classroom as environmental project

May 20, 2010 // 0 Comments

Christine Laug’s fourth grade class at Roguewood Elementary said goodbye to some close “friends” Satirday, May 1 as they released salmon into the Rogue River, below the dam at Childsdale. The students received eggs as an environmental project and were able to watch as the egg-sacs were absorbed and the fish grew bigger. Of the 200 eggs they received, 75 survived, which represents a pretty good survival rate. These little fish will now have the Rogue River imprinted in their minds as their home stream, as they travel out to Lake Michigan. The Salmon in the Classroom project was designed to connect the students with nature as they learned about all the fish need in terms of habitat, food, oxygen, temperature, and life cycles. The large aquarium, which can be used for many years, was sponsored by the Izaak Walton League, a conservation group that promotes protection of our natural resources and connecting kids with nature. Members were very happy to hear of Mrs. Laug’s idea for this project. • • •