Skagway Students Learn Salmon Life Cycle Hands-On Through Salmon In The Classroom

Skagway’s Taiya Inlet Watershed Council wrapped up another great year of Salmon in the Classroom in April and is just starting up another year of the project. In January of 2017 TIWC received over 200 eyed coho salmon eggs from DIPAC Hatchery in Juneau, AK for the Salmon in the Classroom project. They were raised in a tank in the Skagway School hallway for the students to observe as they evolved from tiny red eggs to swimming fry.

TIWC Program Coordinator, Nicole Kovacs, taught Kindergarten through 5th grade students in the Skagway school about salmon and their environment. Students learned about the life cycle of a salmon, habitat, benefits to the environment, and what we can do to help salmon. They also talked about the internal and external anatomy of our salmon and what parts like the “Pyloric Caeca” are, which aids in digestion and absorbing nutrients from the food. At the end of the project, because the salmon came from a hatchery and not a local stream, they couldn’t be released into any of Skagway’s local streams. Instead the salmon fry were sacrificed to the school garden to benefit us through nutrients in our produce!

The Salmon in the Classroom program started up again in August with an egg take from local pink salmon in Pullen Creek. TIWC is looking forward to working with the students again and learning more about the salmon in our watershed. In March, at the end of the project, the salmon fry will be able to be released back into Pullen Creek.

Nicole Kovacs (TIWC) teaches Kindergarten and 1st grade students about the importance of insects in our salmon streams