Tuesday, November 13, 2007 was the official kickoff day for a new “Salmon in the Schools” program at South Haven High School. The program was new to our area, and provided fertilized salmon eggs to a High School biology class. The South Haven Chapter of the Steelheaders provided financing for all of the equipment and supplies, but the job of monitoring and rearing of the salmon belongs to the teacher and the students.
Teacher Kevin Powell was very excited to have this new “live” teaching program available to his classes. Kevin had recently joined the local Chapter and immediately volunteered to host the program. Mark Wilson, a local entrepreneur and spouse of a South Haven math teacher, and Bob Filbrandt of Bob’s Processing in South Haven, got the ball rolling and they both played significant roles in procuring the equipment and helping to set up the program.
In November of 2011, South Haven’s Chapter added another program at Coloma Middle School. Similar to South Haven, the program provided fertilized salmon eggs to a middle school sixth-grade classroom, and the teacher and students provided the support and care of the eggs until they became fish 3-4 inches long. The Coloma program releases the fingerlings into the Paw Paw River to begin their life cycle in both the river and Lake Michigan. The South Haven Chapter again provided financing for all of the equipment and supplies, but the job of monitoring and rearing of the salmon remains with the teacher and students.
Most recently, another “Salmon in the Schools” program was started in Paw Paw at the Middle School. Teacher Jane Larson’s science classroom is hosting the program with its large aquarium and chiller to keep the eggs and the fish at the proper temperature.
Unique to this program is the fact that no gravel is used at the bottom of the aquarium, yet the fish continue to thrive.
For this program, the South Haven Chapter provided the chiller and some on-going maintenance assistance. Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery provided all three programs with the initial training and instruction, and they continue to provide on-going consultation as needed.
To Learn more about current programming, click on a below link:
Sea Grant Video Series – Salmon in the Great Lakes