Last fall we visited the Cronin Salmon Station in Sunderland. We saw staff there harvest eggs from female adult salmon, stepped into tanks with the adult salmon, and observed fertilized salmon eggs and fry.
In February, our class received 300 fertilized salmon eggs from the Station, which we have spent the past three months raising in the classroom. The eggs went from tiny orange globules with black eyes, to little fish swimming around with yolk sacs, to fry that look like miniature salmon. Once their yolk sacs were gone, we raised brine shrimp in the classroom to feed the salmon. Fifth graders recorded questions and observations about the salmon as they grew, and maintained the tank regularly.
On Friday, May 31st, we released approximately 100 salmon fry raised in our classroom into the Saw Mill River near the Leverett/Montague line. This project was part of a larger restoration project to protect the Atlantic salmon population in the Connecticut River watershed. Sadly, this is the last year that the project will take place in classrooms.