Students in B.C. schools raise salmon in their classrooms from eggs, eyed eggs, alevin and finally to fry. Interested teachers receive aquariums, materials and educational resources to assist their learning of the salmon life cycle. The program lasts for approximately eight months of the school year.
The future of the B.C. Salmonid resource lies in the hands of our children. It will be their knowledge, understanding and commitment that will ensure a continued return on investments, resulting in an improved environment.
That is why, from its inception in the 1970s, the Salmonid Enhancement Program (SEP) has promoted educational activities, prepared educational materials and offered support to educators throughout the province of British Columbia. In the more than 20 years that SEP has been involved in B.C. schools, hundreds of thousands of students have been exposed to salmonid enhancement and watershed stewardship concepts and ideas. Many graduates now participate, as professionals and volunteers, in these vital activities.
Stock enhancement projects such as the Stream to Sea Program help bolster weak populations. The incubation and rearing of salmon also promotes education and understanding of one of B.C.'s most valuable resources.
Many British Columbian students are participating in The Stream To Sea Program. Students are taught about the life cycle of salmon and the needs of these fish at the main stages of their lives. Ideas such as environmental needs, habitat concerns, watersheds and industrial, agricultural, and municipal activities in them, and the role of an informed public are introduced in the classroom.
These concepts are found in many areas of the Science curriculum at different levels in the British Columbia educational system. Activities in the Salmonid Enhancement Program support many of the goals in the Integrated Resource Packages (IRP). Field studies for activities such as fry release and stream enhancement also mesh with a number of the IRP goals.
In schools, students involved with the SEP study the life stages of salmon with hands-on care of living salmon. This begins with the set-up of an incubator (aquarium) and actual taking of eggs and milt from adult salmon. It continues with the fertilization of the eggs and the waiting period necessary as eggs develop into "eyed-eggs" and on to hatch. As these alevin develop into fry, water quality tests, water exchanges, and feeding become necessary. The hands-on process in classrooms ends with release of the fry into designated streams.
This program provides children with opportunities to become involved with and interested in, the preservation and enhancement of a species of fish that is tremendously important to the economy and life-style of British Columbia.
Download the Stream to Sea Salmon tank application form here
To find out how to plan and carry out Salmonid Enhancement Program field studies such as fry release in a stream, here.
Current Classroom Salmonid Projects. To see list of schools and people here.