Monday, September 20, 2010

A Visit to the Gorge

Last Friday, Amy, the educator for Columbia Springs, and I held the 3rd annual fish workshop called Healthy Water Habitats and Hatchery Tour. We met 12 teachers at Columbia Springs and carpooled up to Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery (NFH) where spawning activities were in full swing. We left a rainy Vancouver and arrived at the hatchery to find a warm, sunny day. After a brief introduction to the PIT (passive integrated transponder) tag detector station and a short visit to the fish ladder, the teachers suited up into raingear and had the chance to spawn some of the Tule fall chinook salmon. They got a first hand, up close look at the bustling activities that take place this time each fall. In addition to spawning activities, excess fish were being loaded into totes in preparation for a trip to the food bank.

Just before lunch, we headed up to Carson NFH. After lunch, I gave a short presentation on an education trunk I developed last year called "The Columbia River" trunk. It highlights some of my favorite species including coastal cutthroat trout, Pacific lamprey, and Western Pearlshell mussels. A last section raises awareness to the threats of aquatic nuisance species.

We reviewed some of the activities in the trunk and 'played' a short activity called "Water address". This activity allows students to identify plants and animals and their habitats by analyzing clues that describe water-related adaptations of aquatic and terrestrial organisms. At this point we were running out of time but not before we learned more about Carson NFH from the assistant manager, Thomas.All in all, the day was great, the teachers were an exceptional bunch, and the rain held off until the end of the day. Can't ask for more than that.

Posted by Donna Allard

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed reading this blog entry. It's so nice to hear the "good news" stories and we surely need more places where good news can be highlighted. I think this is the best fish blog around! Thanks for all your great work.