Salmonids in the Classroom

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.

Lela Ling
Science Teacher

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 This decision was rescinded due to the many emails, letters, and petitions signed by students and salmon educators.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!

Salmonids in the Classroom

VSB Salmon Coordinator Beverly O’Connor with the Grade 2s

On January 22nd, YHS welcomed 55 chum salmon eggs to the Junior School Science classroom. The eggs were delivered by Beverly O’Connor, Vancouver School Board Salmon Coordinator and Volunteer for the “Salmonids in the Classroom” program. YHS has participated in program for the past ten years, which is supported and funded by Fisheries and Oceans Canada in partnership with the generous donations of YHS parents.

Placing the salmon eggs in the special incubator

The salmon eggs are developing in a special incubator that maintains the water temperature at a chilly six degrees Celsius. The Grade 5 students acting as “Senior Salmon Caretakers”, along with the help of Grade 2 students who are our “Junior Salmon Caretakers”, monitor the aquarium each day. They are learning about the life cycle of salmon, its habitat, and how salmon are very sensitive to changes in their environment.

Once the eggs hatch and develop into fry, the Grade 5 students will release them at Spanish Banks Creek, a designated release site. Learning about stewardship helps students contribute to our community. Over the coming weeks, all of the students in the Junior School will enjoy caring and watching our salmon develop.

Lela Ling
Jr. School Science Teacher