Grade-school students from nearly 30 Kenai Peninsula schools got up close and personal with the fish Alaska is known for last week at salmon egg takes on the Anchor River and in Seward and Bear Creek.
The egg takes kicked off the 16th season of Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Salmon in the Classroom program, which aims to help Alaskan students better understand the fish that are so important to the state’s economy.
ADF&G biologists at the Anchor River last Wednesday, Oct. 7, gave presentations on salmon biology and helped students from Paul Banks, Fireweed and Ninilchik schools fertilize coho salmon eggs.
“It’s a pleasure to watch the reaction on their faces when we get to do some spawning,” said biologist Jenny Cope. “The joy on their faces…it’s infectious.”
When Cope asked the audience who had ever been around salmon, all hands went up. Students also already knew the stages in a salmon’s life cycle, how to tell the sexes apart and the names of the five kinds of Alaskan salmon.
Each visiting class took fertilized eggs back to their classroom to watch them grow into fry over the next few months. ADF&G also will sponsor ice fishing events and salmon dissections.
Annie Rosenthal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.