Crofton Elementary School students gathered at Stocking Creek last Thursday to release the chum salmon they had been raising in their school over the last few months.
The salmon eggs came to the students as part of the Fisheries and Oceans Canada ‘Salmonids in the Classroom’ program, which has been running for more than 35-years in B.C. and the Yukon.
As part of the Stream to Sea program, the Salmonids in the Classroom are local salmon eggs delivered to classrooms throughout the Cowichan Valley School District. The small eggs help students become stewards of aquatic life.
Raising these salmon in the school provides an opportunity to teach students to understand, respect and protect freshwater and marine ecosystems and to recognize how all humans – big and small – are linked to these complex environments.
After months of hiding in their temperature and light controlled tank, the new salmon were ready for the big show. The fish were carefully brought to the stream and, one by one, gently lowered into the stream, and on to a new adventure.
As classmates placed the fish in their new home, students refocused their attention on their ecological footprint and had an impromptu trash pickup in the forest.
Much like the April 5 Crofton Elementary cleanup, students went around the forest gathering items for sorting and recycling later.