This year we studied trout in the classroom with Sylvia Hamilton from the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery.
When we started out with the trout, we had eggs that were a pale orange with little dots that were the eyes. When the fish hatched, they hid in the gravel that we had at the bottom because they did not need to eat because they had a yolk sac. Then, they turned into fry because the yolk sac was gone and then you have to start feeding them. The fry have scales and that’s when they started eating.
It was fun watching them swim. One of my favorite projects was when we sorted the candies that Sylvia brought and put them into the different types of candy categories like the dichotomous key. They got more and more specific like the genus and species do.
Another favorite project we did was when we created a new imaginary fish with adaptations to their habitat. It was fun. We got to create really cool slippery fish.
When we dissected steelhead fish we compared the parts of a fish’s body to the parts of the human body.
My most extreme favorite project was when we visited the hatchery. We got to get in the raceways and help sort the fish, then we rotated through tasks like catching the fish out of a big container and getting the milt with sperm from the males and the eggs from the females. We also snipped samples from the fins. Finally, we got to see how they mark the fish by clipping the adipose fin, and then we went fishing in the kids’ fishing pond. Everyone caught a fish.
I hope other kids will be able to do this in future years because it’s so much fun and you learn about the different fish and how few fish will survive in the wild.