Here is a clip showing our salmon eggs. They’re in the eyed stage. Still waiting for them to hatch!
Our trip to the Bonneville Dam and fish hatchery was fantastic. The weather was great, tour guides at the dam were great, parent chaperones were great, and our student behavior was great. Even the fish seemed to be doing quite well today. Our students culminated their learning from a STEM unit earlier in the year on salmon and energy as well as from a pilot project about lamprey eels. It was a delight to see and hear students share their expertise with their tour guides, parents, and peers.
It was a little sad to seem them go, and they were a real good group of fish, but it was time to move on with their lives. Yesterday we released our 1,000 chinook salmon fry that we raised in our classrooms since October 23rd. The we]ather was great, for December, and certainly better than the below freezing temps we had last week. The water temperature was 37 degrees so it was chillier than the 52 degree water our chinook fry were used to, but they seemed to adjust fine. Below is a short video of our release day beginning with our students scooping them out of the incubator. Our next planned hatch will be rainbow trout in the winter of 2015!
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.
Chinook Salmon Eggs
Today we received our salmon eggs from the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. Thanks to Mr. Reed (Mrs. Reed’s husband) for driving to Clackamas to pick them up and deliver them to EY. The eggs originate from the Roaring River Hatchery in Scio, Oregon. Once they have incubated to the eyed egg stage, they become ready to dispurse to classrooms. We will raise our salmon in classroom incubators that are equipped with chiller units to keep the water cool (see previous posting for pics). Next week students will take turns conducting water tests and recording observations.
On Monday we began our newly developed STEM unit which focuses on the essential question, “How can salmon populations thrive and coexist with energy demands in the Pacific Northwest?” Our first two lessons have focused on foundational information about the salmon life cycle. Students have read two articles about the salmon life cycle on the Columbia River and have learned about each of the six major life cycle stages. Next week we will focus on ecosystems, food chains, as well as a salmon population activity that integrates math. In the coming weeks, our students will take a look at energy and will engage in engineering and problem solving.
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!
We kicked off our salmon science unit with a bang! Yesterday afternoon our students participated in a true hands-on experience by observing and dissecting rainbow trout. Students learned about the features and functions of the eternal and intermal parts of the fish. The fish were provided courtesy of Mrs. Mapes and her neighbor Bill Koepke. Mr. Keopke obtained the fish from the Sportsman’s Expo in Portland this past week. Big thatks to Mrs. Mapes and Bill! We will be studying the species, anatomy, salmon life cycle, and habitat over the next few weeks. Look for posts about our classroom fish hatching project coming very soon.