Cordova students are raising coho salmon in their school as part of Alaska Department of Fish & Game’s Salmon in the Classroom education program. Each winter, the tank is set up using eyed coho eggs delivered by float plan from the Wally Noerenberg Hatchery on Esther Island in Prince William Sound. Thanks to Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation and Cordova Air for getting the eggs to Cordova! .
Each month one of the 4-6th grade classes monitors the tank, collecting daily water temperature readings and tracking development of the eggs. Once the eggs hatch and the alevins develop into fry, staff from CRWP and the PWS Science Center teach the students how to feed the fry and help with regular water exchanges to keep the salmon healthy. At the conclusion of the school year, the 5th grade class releases the salmon at Fleming Spit.
January: Eggs “fly” to Cordova and tank is set-up.
By February the eyes were quite developed.
March: Eggs hatch and alevin burrow into gravel.
March: Yolk sacs get smaller as alevin absorb nutrients from them.
This process is referred to as “zipping up”.
April: Free swimming fry!
The insulation is removed from the tank and the Mt. Eccle’s students teach them how to eat.
At the conclusion of the school year 5th grade students release the coho fry into the estuary at Fleming Spit.
Thanks to the 2015 program partners who made this project possible: