Palsson kids release salmon fry into Oliver Creek

After over two months of raising the fry, Mrs Walters' class send them into creek to head for pastures new

Elise Nelson waits to receive her fry from teacher Mike Dunn

A class at Palsson Elementary School in Lake Cowichan released salmon fry into Oliver Creek this past Thursday after raising the species for two months.

Kim Walters’ Grade 4 class at Palsson had been raising the chum fry inside the school building for over two months.

“We received 101 eggs back in February and came out with 101 fry so it shows my class was very good fish stewards,” said Walters, who believes local fishery hierarchy will be thrilled with that stat. “I don’t think we’ve ever done that before.”

Walters carried the fry inside a bucket the short distance to the creek at the rear of the school but did not release them right away, due to temperature issues.

“The temperature inside our classroom was colder than what it is in the creek (due to recent warm weather). The creek doesn’t take long to warm up. The temperature in that water would need to be matched by where they came from.”

Soon after though, numerous enthusiastic students used plastic cups to pick up water from the creek, fished out a fry from the bucket and placed it inside the cup, and then released them back into the creek.

The fry are provided each year by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and will eventually turn into fully grown salmon along the life cycle.

“When we first get them they are just eggs and after they hatch we have what we call the alevin process before they become fry and swim down into the tank. I’ve been doing this for eight years, so quite a while.”