The Tuesday Salmon Release falls in the category of a "brilliant fieldtrip". The PAC funded trip allowed eight of our classes to travel by bus to release the salmon fry into the fresh water stream that drains into Spanish Banks. The day was sunny and excitement was high. Grade 4 students in Division 12, presented two information stations and one release station to each of the classes. Fifty-six of the original sixty eyed eggs survived and thrived under the care of Grade 3 and Grade 4 students. These students learned to set up the tank, calculate ATU's, check the water temperature, monitor the pH and ammonia levels. Their knowledge of the life cycle of salmon, their predators, food sources, and environmental threats is quite remarkable. One student was even able to observe that coho salmon were swimming around in the stream with our chum salmon. Smart kids!
The salmon release was only part 1 of the learning students were engaged in at Spanish Banks. Each class took part in shared activities like the scavenger hunts and special class adventures, including the Grade 7 creation of ecosystems, Mr. Wan's trek to Jericho Beach, the Grade 3 amazing beach structure and adventure hike. Division 12 voted to "play" on the beach. This included drawing observations, examining tidal pools with magnifying glasses, measuring the temperature and pH of the stream and tidal pools, digging, building, tag and soccer. Everywhere you looked, there were children delighted with the opportunity to explore and learn. Close by were their teachers and volunteers, delighted in participating in that learning with them. Such a good day.
The Salmon Enhancement Program is well supported by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Special thanks to Bev Bowler and Bev O'Connor, who were so helpful is supporting us with professional development and handholding. Special thanks also to Ms. Jang for taking shared responsibility for this project and to Ms. Kroeker from Tecumseh Annex for sharing her background knowledge and her very helpful advice in response to her former students emailed list of questions, "Relax and let the salmon do their thing. They're pretty good at it..." For the first time in many years, in 2012 the chum stocks in B.C. actually increased. We're pleased to be part of something that is making a positive impact on our environment and sustainability of our wild salmon.
To see pictures of our fieldtrip, return to the homepage and click "Follow us on twitter" on the bottem right corner or follow the link to the district website.