Recently, more than 100 Highlander Way Middle School students said goodbye to the Chinook salmon that they have helped raise since November. As part of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Salmon in the Classroom (SIC) program students in Mrs. Kristie Hannon’s eighth grade science classes watched as the salmon grew from eggs to fry. The students cared for the fish as the used them to learn about the environment and factors that can impact it. The salmon were released into the Red Cedar River in Okemos.
In addition to releasing the salmon, students learned about sport fishing, invasive species that can be found in the Great Lakes and water quality testing from members of Project F.I.S.H. Project F.I.S.H is an educational program for youth and families sponsored locally by schools, fishing conservation organizations, others interested in fishing and our fisheries.
“I think it was actually pretty cool releasing the salmon because you got to go in there and let them go. It was pretty cool to watching them swim off after watching them grow all year,” said Jason Legowsky, an 8th-grade student at Highlander Way Middle School.
SIC is a yearlong natural resources program in which teachers receive fertilized salmon eggs from a DNR hatchery in the fall, hatch them, feed and raise the fry through the spring and then release the young salmon into a local river that is a tributary of the Great Lakes.
Highlander Way Middle School was one of approximately 200 schools statewide to take part in the SIC program for the 2015-2016 school year. This is the third year that Hannon has participated in the program.