Salmon in School

Salmon in School is an environmental education program based upon raising chinook salmon in classrooms, providing teachers and schools with a unique, hands-on learning opportunity.

Each classroom receives a 55-gallon aquarium with associated equipment and 100 spring chinook salmon eggs, allowing the students to observe and learn about the early stages of the salmon life cycle. The salmon eggs are delivered in the fall, soon after school begins, and are released as fry (2-3” salmon) in the spring. Last school year, over 800 chinook fry were released by Salmon in School students into local rivers.

Lessons directly related to salmon and the environment are taught by our staff in each classroom on a monthly basis, and correlate with the development of the salmon they are raising. Salmon-themed art projects, life cycle investigations, macroinvertebrates study, and the importance of healthy riparian habitat are a few examples of lessons we present to students.

Students assist in feeding the fish and monitoring aquarium water quality, while keeping journals noting the development of their salmon from egg to fry.

Davis Elementary students released their salmon into Mill Creek this spring. Many of them wore the salmon hats they made during Salmon in School activities.

WDFW biologist Joe Bumgarner visited the Davis Elementary Salmon in School classroom prior to the release of their fish. He showed the students how to weigh and measure their fish, and then implanted the fish with PIT tags to track their progress along the Columbia River.