Next Monday we will release our chinook salmon fry in an ODFW approved site on the Willamette River. The egg sacs of the salmon fry are gradually getting smaller and our fish are swimming more freely around the incubators. Stay tuned for pics of the release.
Our chinook salmon alevins are growing fast and they’re making good progress with their swimming lessons. We’re looking at releasing them sometime during the week of December 16th as they transition to the fry stage. More information will be forthcoming regarding when and where we will release them, as well as a request for some parent help at the release site.
Here is the latest video update of how our chinook salmon alevins are developing.
Our chinook salmon alevins are starting to become quite busy in their little worlds. Activity is increasing everyday in both incubators. Ammonia levels have been a concern so we have changed out the water several times. Thanks to Mr. Segundo who has hauled in numerous five gallon buckets of water from our well pumphouse on several chilly mornings. You will note a clearing in the rocks. This is where we dumped in the new water from the buckets. It is interesting to see how the salmon alevins react to it. Stay tuned for more developments!
This morning we were greeted by about 1,000 wiggling chinook salmon alevins in both classroom incubators combined. Over the weekend all of our eggs hatched. When the eggs hatch, it is common to find a white frothy foam on the surface of the water and to have the water a bit cloudy. This is caused by the egg yolk residue mixing with the water. As a result, the ammonia level in the incubators usually climbs to dangerous toxic levels. To remedy this, we change out half or more of the water to dilute the ammonia. The incubators also are equipped with ammonia filters, but it often isn’t enough to keep the level down once they hatch. You will notice the alevins have very large yolk sacs. These are the food sources for the young salmon until the sacs become used up and the fish become free-swimming fry. Stay tuned for more updates!
Our chinook salmon eggs are beginning to hatch. Unlike our previous trout egg hatches in which most eggs hatch in a single day, the chinook eggs are gradually hatching. Over the past two weeks our students have conducted daily water tests and observations, used math to calculate hatch date predictions and survival rates, learned about food chains and webs, and they are currently creating scale drawings of salmon. In the coming weeks we will study energy and learn how salmon and energy needs must coexist.
These lonely incubators will be housing some chinook salmon eggs next week for an upcoming STEM unit. This will be the first time since 1993 when we began the program that we have raised salmon. Previously we have raised rainbow trout. We’re looking forward to this new experience!