Ecological Footprint

Ecological Footprint

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Phone: 561-7327

Email: events@reaps.org

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native salmon

Salmonoids in the Classroom

Many British Columbian students are participating in The Salmonid Enhancement Program (SEP). 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. While it offers one of the most rewarding educational experiences when used in conjunction with Salmonids in the Classrooms or a science unit.

This program does require considerable teacher commitment and attendance at an in-service session. Supply of aquariums is limited and not all requests can be met in any given year.

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