Negaunee students practice hatch & release

Negaunee Elementary students release Salmon into the river.

It’s a hatch and release program that has kids from Big Bay to Escanaba going wild.

Today, the Fred Waara Chapter of Trout Unlimited’s “Salmon in the Classroom” program began to put the fish they helped raise back in the water.

The Upper Peninsula program is comprised of six schools. Each participating school was given an aquarium full of 200 salmon eggs back in November. Today, Negaunee elementary students released their salmon into the Dead River Basin.

“Taking care of it they have to feed it a certain amount of food everyday, so it’s monitoring that and they have to keep the water clean, so it’s constant cleaning.  Water testing, sometimes changing out some water if the PH balance gets too high. So they are learning all about what it takes for these fish to survive and they get to do all the work,” said Bob Jensen, Trout Unlimited.

“It was pretty slow at first but once they got out of their egg form  they started growing fast,” said Logan Chaudier, 6th grader.

“I would feed them, clean the tank, test the water and stuff like that,” said Megan Scott, 6th grader.

During the monitoring period, teachers incorporate the salmon into their lesson plan. Everything from environment to water quality is covered in the curriculum.

“It was weird seeing them in the tank and then they started hatching, it was really cool to see how they came from eggs to fish,” said Jacquhah Curtis, 6th grader.

“It was really fun to see them grow from eggs,” said Riley Carlson, 6th grade.

“I named my fish Stewie, and it was sad, yet fun to put him in the water and see him swim away, continued Curtis.

All of the salmon eggs were donated by The Michigan Department of Natural Resources.