Tynehead Salmon Hatchery

Division 7 went on a field trip to the salmon hatchery in Tynehead Regional Park on Oct. 11th. The class walked down the power line and then over to the park, where we had to go through the forest by making our very own path. We all had to be careful so that we didn’t get whacked in the face by tree branches, get stabbed by thorny bushes or tripped by vines. Eventually, we all managed to make it out safely and survived; along the way, we stopped at a small wooden bridge to try and find fish. Unfortunately, we didn’t find any because it was too early in the spawning season.

At the hatchery, one of the volunteers talked to us about the life cycle of salmon, like what happens to salmon when they go to spawn, and what types of salmon come up to spawn at the Tynehead hatchery. The usual types are chinook, coho and chum salmon. At the table, she showed us how females lay and hide the eggs and how the males fertilizes them. She also showed us real samples of the different stages of a salmon’s life cycle (the egg, eyed egg, alevin and fry stages). After that, we watched a quick video about salmon and then split off into 3 groups to go look at different places in the hatchery. We saw how the volunteers caught fish to see what was spawning, and what fish they were breeding in the hatchery as well as the salmon they were releasing back into the river. We visited the egg room where eggs were being kept to hatch (they had to be very careful with those eggs because if one were to go bad all of them were at risk of going bad as well), and where they kept the hatched eggs (alevin) until they were big enough to be released. We also got to hold a couple different types of real frozen salmon, and they smelled really bad and were very heavy.

I would say that this was the most adventurous field trip I have ever been on, and I recommend that everyone goes to the hatchery at least once, because you will learn lots of interesting things! (written by Tasha G.)

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