We are excited to support interested teachers in the watershed in setting up a tank to raise salmon in their classroom. This program is permitted by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADFG), and provides an opportunity to get up close and personal with the early life stages of salmon that are usually out of sight (and out of mind) under gravel, ice, and snow.

The opportunity to care for these fragile life stages help to build personal connections to the fish, which are lovingly named by students over the course of the project. It also reminds students of the delicate lives incubating in the streams around them, ideally inspiring them to be extra careful when moving in and around spawning habitat. 

In the spring, the salmon are released into a location approved by ADFG that will have the least impact on wild salmon populations. Students take time to study the habitat where their fish will now swim free, evaluating the food, competition, predators, and water quality in their fishes’ new home. This experience continues to build strong connections between students and salmon and the habitat that supports them both.

Support the salmon tank education program by adopting a fry!

For every fry adopted ($25), receive a high-quality sticker of our new Salmon Tank design by artist Cadi Moffitt.

Keep an eye on the live stream salmon tank camera (above) throughout the winter and spring! When will the fry hatch?!

The 5th graders at Mt.Eccles Elementary School in Cordova have their salmon tank set up in the classroom. They take turns checking the water temperature and monitoring the conditions to make sure their salmon grow up healthy and strong!

Color each stage of the salmon life cycle!

Color and return to add your art to the salmon tank window display!

Artist Cadi Moffitt is a long-time participant in CRWP and Prince William Sound Science Center’s hands-on education programming…starting with her elementary school days in the Discovery Room and continuing through middle school as part of the Odiak Pond field study. She first ventured into the field during middle school on an 8-day boat-based adventure in Prince William Sound as part of the Chugach Children’s Forest expedition series, on which CRWP educator Kate was lead instructor. Cadi got hooked on adventure and spent two summers during her high school years on the Copper River Stewardship Program, and multiple semesters interning with the CRWP and volunteering her time outside of school and work to help us with salmon habitat studies, stream clean-ups, and of course logos and other artistic projects to help promote our work. She is now continuing to flex her creative muscles in her job as a graphic designer at P1FCU, a credit union with branches across the Pacific Northwest. Cadi graciously donated this piece to help us raise funds in order to continue to provide the sort of hands-on programs that inspired her for many generations of Copper River watershed students to come.

The Copper River Watershed Project would like to thank our partners from throughout the watershed who helped make this program possible, as well as the generous individuals who gave financial contributions to the Copper River Watershed Project for this program. We look forward to coordinating with you again next year to bring this exciting educational opportunity to all students in the Copper River watershed. 

Kate Morse is the Program Director for Copper River Watershed Project and can be reached at kate@copperriver.org, (907)424-3334.