Just weeks after the end of the biggest spawning season in nine years on Fauntleroy Creek, the Salmon in Schools program is starting another year. Teachers whose classes raise salmon for spring releases picked up eggs this week, distributed by longtime program volunteers Judy Pickens and Phil Sweetland. Pickens explains:
Coho eggs arrived early for the 10 West Seattle schools participating in Salmon in the Schools this term. Schools normally get their eggs the first week of January, but warm water at the state’s Soos Creek Hatchery caused eggs to develop more quickly. Teachers and volunteers scrambled to settle their eggs in cold aquarium water before leaving for the two-week winter break. Students can expect to return from break to find alevin absorbing the food that sustains them for their first few weeks of life.
Students will help care for their fish while learning about salmon biology, habitat, and culture, then release them in upper Fauntleroy Creek in May. Habitat in the lower creek will be reserved for “home hatch” left by the 244 spawners that came in several weeks ago.
In our second photo above, Our Lady of Guadalupe School‘s Kelsey Fish is one of the teachers who stopped by to pick up salmon eggs. Other participating schools include Louisa Boren STEM K-8, Gatewood Elementary, Pathfinder K-8, Roxhill Elementary, Sanislo Elementary, Westside School (WSB sponsor), Fauntleroy Children’s Center, Cove School, and A Child Becomes.