On Wednesday, May 31, students in Kristie Hannon’s eighth-grade science classes said goodbye to the Chinook salmon they have helped raise as they released fish into the Red Cedar River in Okemos.
In November, Hannon received fertilized salmon eggs from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as part of the departments Salmon in the Classroom (SIC) program. Over the course of the year, the students cared for the fish as they hatched and grew into fry. Using the fish as examples, the students learned about the environment and how various factors can impact it.
In addition to releasing the salmon the students about sport fishing, invasive species that can be found in the Great Lakes from volunteers from Project F.I.S.H. and about water quality from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. 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.
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 2016-2017 school year. This is the fourth year that Hannon has participated in the program.