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Fishing

Anchorage students help advance salmon life cycle in hatchery field trip

  • Author: Bill Roth
  • Updated: October 6
  • Published October 5

Daniel Patteson pours water to fertilize a mixture of coho salmon eggs and milt on Wednesday. (Bill Roth / ADN)

Fourth-graders from Grace Christian School participating in Fish and Game's Salmon in the Classroom program sang Happy Birthday on Wednesday as Daniel Patteson added water to a mixture of eggs and milt taken from coho salmon that returned to Ship Creek, completing their life cycle.

The fertilized eggs from the field trip to William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery will be placed in an incubation tank in the school library, where all students can observe progress over the winter as the newly fertilized eggs become an eyed egg, then alevin and finally fry, which they will release in Taku Lake in May.

Students in the program will learn about the life cycle and biology of Pacific salmon species, importance of fish habitat and responsible angling techniques.

Elementary students from 65 schools in Anchorage along with schools in Eagle River, Kenai Peninsula, Fairbanks and Southeast are participating in the statewide aquatic education program.

Fertilized coho eggs taken from a returning salmon to Ship Creek on Wednesday will be incubated in a tank at Grace Christian School as part of Fish and Game’s Salmon in the Classroom program. Salmon fry from these eggs will be released in Taku Lake in May. (Bill Roth / ADN)

As students toured the hatchery, biologists and fish culturists were busy producing the next coho offspring during the last egg take of the season.

Fish culturist David Starzynski places an adult male coho salmon that returned to Ship Creek, completing its life cycle, onto a spawning rack during the last egg take of the season. (Bill Roth / ADN)
Coho salmon that returned to Ship Creek, completing their life cycle, were used as broodstock during the last egg take of the season at the William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery. Smolt produced from these eggs will be released in Ship Creek, Campbell Creek, Bird Creek, Homer Spit, and Eklutna Tailrace in May 2020 to enhance the sportfishing opportunities. (Bill Roth / ADN)

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