C.C. McLean raising Chinook salmon in micro-hatchery

The micro-hatchery fish group at Charles C. McLean public school, made up of students and teachers, will raise the Chinook salmon eggs that were delivered to the school last week. The group will raise the fish until they are ready to be released in area waters next spring.

GORE BAY—With the Chinook salmon spawn eggs having been delivered recently, a group of Charles C. McLean students and two teachers have started the process of raising the fish in the school micro-hatchery until they are ready for release.

“The Chinook salmon eggs came from Mindemoya last week and we put them in the micro-hatchery,” said Grade 1/2 teacher Christa Flood, who along with fellow teacher Laura Hagman (Grade 2/3) and Grades 5-7 students Blaec Quinlan, Greyson Orford, Kowan Orford, Ethan Witty, Rylan Lock, Wyatt Williamson-Wright, Corbin Best, Alexis McVey and school custodian Richard Panton will take care of the fish until they are released.

“The micro-hatchery has been set up in a school hallway area (instead of as in the previous year in the school’s library),” said Ms. Flood. “It will be more accessible and visible, and the children will be able to see the fish on a daily basis.”

Ms. Flood pointed out that students are also working on developing a bulletin board to post news about the fish in the area where the micro-hatchery is located.

Members of the Gore Bay Fish and Game Club (GBFGC) and volunteers took Chinook salmon spawn from the Kagawong River for the micro-hatcheries at C.C. McLean and Central Manitoulin Public School in Mindemoya. This program is a joint educational venture involving the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s Sudbury District, the GBFGC and the two Island schools.

“The gravel was put in the bottom of the micro-hatchery and the salmon eggs came from Mindemoya last week,” said Ms. Flood. “Within a week the eggs will probably hatch—we have 130 viable healthy eggs.” She noted there is a daily schedule of who will feed the fish and clean the micro-hatchery.
“We have a real good group of dedicated, interested students and it is exciting as an educator to see kids so engaged in a project,” said Ms. Flood. After the fish are raised to a good size the micro-hatchery group will release the fish in the spring-under the ice so the seagulls and other birds can’t get at them, she added.