The second grade students released over 150 Coho salmon parr into Fauntleroy Creek this morning. It was a beautiful spring morning with sunshine and blue skies overhead. The park was filled with newly leafed out salmonberry bushes, ferns and skunk cabbage. Birds were chirping, a wren’s nest was quivering (what was inside?) and the students were excited to see the fish find their place in a wild habitat. Out of the tank and into the creek!
The salmon have been our class pets since early January. We have been monitoring their growth through the stages of egg, alevin, fry and parr. The monitoring has included feeding them crushed fish flakes and bloodworms, observing and recording their behaviors weekly, cleaning the tank daily and inspecting the equipment.
The salmon study has included guest speakers, field trips, a dissection, science observation journals, acrostic poetry writing and fictional writing based on the book Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin.
While wearing polarizing glasses, each child knelt down by the creek and released three or more salmon.They were encouraged to send them off with a wish for success in the wild. The second grade students also hiked throughout the park in search of specific plants and animals. It was a lovely way to enjoy urban nature right here in West Seattle.
Many thanks to Judy Pickens and the volunteers assisting her. They are devoted to salmon and have spread their knowledge and enthusiasm to a new group of children. We end this project with a strong sense of the importance of salmon as a natural resource and as a cultural icon for our region. We LOVE salmon!