Despite the disruption in school operations, the pandemic isn’t stopping the Salmon in the Schools program. Local volunteer organizers Judy Pickens and Phil Sweetland obtained hatchery eggs this week for participating teachers, and arranged a distanced pickup from their home near Fauntleroy Creek, into which fry will be released this spring.
Stopping by while we visited for a photo were Rita Gazewood, first-grade teacher at Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Claudia Rodriguez, preschool teacher at The Cove School. In “normal” years, volunteers led by Phil and Judy deliver the eggs to schools.
This year, Judy tells WSB, “The eggs are destined for eight tanks – four elementaries, three preschools, and the volunteer who rears fish for schools that have crop failures. Some teachers and their tank volunteers have moved their tanks into garages and others have arranged access to their tanks in school buildings. All will be following COVID protocols to keep themselves safe while engaging students remotely in the rearing process. If all goes well, at least 1,300 coho fry will be ready to release into upper Fauntleroy Creek in May. They will have the habitat to themselves as we had no spawning last fall to produce ‘home hatch’ in the lower creek.”