Last week we bid farewell to the chinook salmon we have been raising in our classrooms since late October. We had hoped to have our students participate in releasing all of our fish in Chehalem Creek where we conducted our outdoor school project. It was very muddy there from the previous week’s rains, so we changed our game plan a bit. Mrs. Willcuts and Mr. Evers released one-third of the fish in Chehalem Creek, and we had our students release the remaining two-thirds in the Willamette River at Roger’s Landing. As Ewing Young Park develops, we hope to have greater access to the creek during the winter months for projects, and perhaps our students can be a part of that process.
We had a very successful hatching and raising experience this year as a large percentage of our 1,000 eggs survived to the fry stage. As many of you know the recent flooding threw a curveball into our Willamette River release day plans and ultimately we had to cancel the classroom trip. While it was disappointing to all, our students were good sports as we explained that sometimes nature presents situations out of our control and we have to roll with it. Since we did not have access to any safe site on the Willamette, our biologist at Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife gave us permission to release our fish in nearby Chehalem Creek. Thanks to the Garstkas for allowing us to park in your driveway and providing safe access to the creek for release. While it was unceremonious in pouring rain today, Mrs. Reed, Mr. Milner, and Mr. Evers made sure the salmon made it safely in their new home. Who knows, maybe in four years a few salmon will make their way back up the Chehalem!