February 2, 2023

Salmon in the classroom

Two elementary classrooms are raising salmon with support of the Michigan DNR

Charlotte Public Schools will be raising salmon in two classes this year, with the support of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Stephanie D’Huyvetter, 5th grade teacher at the CUE, and Lisa Frey, 3rd grade teacher at Washington, applied for and received the Salmon in the Classroom grant from the Michigan DNR. The tanks were purchased and set up by Preuss Pets out of Lansing.

The Salmon in the Classroom program was initiated by the DNR in 1997 to develop a connection between students and the natural resources found around them. It also helps address one of the challenges facing the Great Lakes fishery, mitigating the effects of biological pollution by balancing the native vs non native species in the Great Lakes.

The program includes teacher training and support for the successful growth of the salmon and educational materials for the students. The eggs were received and released in the classroom tanks in mid November. Since then, students have been monitoring water temperature, pH and chemical concentrations. They will continue to monitor water quality and fish growth into the spring. The classrooms will take a culminating field trip to the Red Cedar to release the smolt (salmon growth phase when released) in late April or early May. Ms. Frey wrote about the release in her application, saying “On the day of the release, I would like students to be as involved as possible, making this a full day of fun, learning, and excitement when letting the salmon go into a safe and nurturing environment. I know all students will be overjoyed to be a part of this process. This is a life-changing event for students, parents, teachers, and our community.” We welcome this opportunity for our students, and thank the partnerships making this possible!