Schools around the Clearwater Valley are up to something fishy! They are participating in the Hatchery in the Classroom program where classes from grades 4-12 raise steelhead trout from eyed egg to fingerling. Besides learning how to care for and rear cold water fish they are also learning the life cycle of steelhead, fish habitat and watersheds, cultural traditions surrounding steelhead and salmon, and fish anatomy.Earlier this week I traveled to Palouse Prairie School in Moscow, ID to help the 3rd and 4th grade classes dissect adult steelhead. I joined three biologists from Idaho Department of Fish and Game as we covered the external and internal anatomy of the fish. Students were presented with a large adult steelhead and asked if they could name all of the different fins. Hands flew into the air and not only did these kids know names and locations of all the fins, they were able to describe their functions too!
The students were incredibly enthusiastic especially when it came to removing the eye from their fish. Their curiosity was inspiring and their thirst for knowledge was impressive! Aside from a chorus of ewww, yuck, and ugh, gross, we all had fun and learned a lot.
By Angela Feldmann