When folks talk about fish fry, you might be forgiven for thinking they mean a tasty meal of sizzling salmon, but students from Lake Cowichan School and Palsson Elementary School, with help from the Cowichan Lake Salmonid Enhancement Society, have been working at the other end of that equation: raising young salmon in their classrooms.
They’ve been able to get out on a couple of Friday mornings recently to release them into the Cowichan River at the Saywell Park dock: a fun field trip and a great way to bid farewell to their little friends.
On the first of the two occasions, the Society’s Bob Crandall said the Palsson kids really got into releasing their little ones, crying out “Grow, kids, grow” as they let the fry go.
On April 28, it was more of the same, he said.
“We had lots of fun today with the students at the river releasing their classroom-raised salmon. The weather was great and lots of extra people in the park joined in with the event.”
In addition, “the Island Savings/First West Foundation folks (Chad Ramsey and Michealla Beck) showed up to provide their support as they have awarded $2,500 to the Cowichan Lake Salmonid Enhancement Society and Hatchery for trail building and maintenance on two trails, each next to a school and a salmon creek in Lake Cowichan. The students are involved in more and more outdoor education involving creeks and salmon habitat. We want to keep those trails maintained and safe for everyone,” Crandall said.
Island Savings will also be making a second donation to the Society as well for its work, according to Crandall.
On the second outing, the Bubbles ‘n’ Books toddlers program bus was at Saywell Park at the same time so supervisors brought their tiny children down to the dock as well to watch the children launch their chum fry into the river.
There, under sunny skies, the excited students lined up to get cups full of little fish to name and release.