Since January, Grade 2 and 5 students have been participating in the Fisheries and Ocean Program, ‘Salmonids in the Classroom‘. In addition to learning about the life cycle and salmon’s role as a keystone species, the students also raised salmon from eggs. Grade 2 Students were the designated “Junior Salmon Caretakers” and the Grade 5s acted as the “Senior Salmon Caretakers”.
Beginning with 55 chum salmon eggs, with only two not hatching, the students ensured the tank remained a healthy habitat for the salmon as they developed into fry. In addition to clean water, watchful eyes made sure that there was a steady supply of air and the water temperature was maintained at a chilly 6-8 degrees Celsius. Thanks to the generosity of the YHS Parents’ Association, the water temperature was maintained with a cooling system designed specifically for the salmon program.
On Monday, May 8th, Grade 5 students released 53 chum salmon fry at Spanish Banks. It was bittersweet, but as young stewards they will treasure the experience and appreciate their positive impact on a fragile ecosystem. The Grade 2s can hardly wait to become Grade 5 students!
View the full photo gallery here.
UPDATE: The Department of Fisheries and Oceans was to cut funding to this program. This decision was rescinded due to the many emails, letters, and petitions signed by students and salmon educators. Please see this video message from The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, thanking students for their letters. What a lasting lesson in democracy for our students!