Third Graders Venture to Bonneville Fish Hatchery

Third Graders Venture to Bonneville Fish Hatchery

Third graders recently visited the Bonneville Fish Hatchery and Sturgeon Center in the Columbia Gorge for an opportunity to build on in-school learning about the life cycles of salmon. The trip also provided background knowledge for future units on Indigenous tribes and the role salmon played in Indigenous life and culture.

To kick off the salmon exploration, Lower School Science Teacher Tina Akehurst put a tank filled with salmon eggs in the third-grade hallway. She talked with the students about the process of hatching and what to watch for as the eggs developed. “Our class made some predictions on when the eggs would start hatching and how many would survive, and some students even named them. Three of our eggs hatched before the field trip and the children were very excited,” said Akehurst.

The students then took their learning to Bonneville Fish Hatchery, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s largest hatchery facility with a diverse fish production program. It's used for adult collection, egg incubation and rearing of Tule fall Chinook, and adult collection and spawning of coho salmon. It is also used for the rearing of summer steelhead, winter steelhead, and coho. And one of the most famous fish to call the hatchery home is Herman the Sturgeon.

“A favorite moment, for many of our third graders, was getting to meet Herman the Sturgeon,” said Lower School and Extension Assistant Teacher Sammy Prugsamatz. “He's supposedly 89 years old, 10 feet long and almost 500 lbs. He is Oregon's most famous fish.”

Appreciation goes to Sammy for providing the beautiful photos below.

Donations to the OES Fund make programs like these possible. Thank you for supporting the OES mission.