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Celebrating Salmon

by Alexandra, Blaise, Jenna, & Tanner — Westcot Elementary, West Vancouver, BC

Viewing salmon

November 2011 — On October 27th 2011, the grade 4/5 class from Westcot Elementary, West Vancouver, walked to Brothers Creek, where there was a viewing platform, to learn about salmon. We learned about its lifecycle, habitat, and how it’s an important resource for British Columbia.

Just before we arrived at the viewing platform, Hugh Hamilton, from the West Vancouver Streamkeepers Society, reminded us to keep quiet so that we don’t scare off any salmon. We walked down a steep, switch-backed trail in single file to see 13 Chum salmon Viewing salmon swimming around in pairs. It was so exciting to see so many healthy salmon in this natural habitat. We also saw some unique birds like the dipper, who eats salmon eggs by wading down into the water to get the eggs. A heron swooped down right in front of us giving us a surprise. Unfortunately, we saw two dead salmon under the water. When we asked Mr. Hamilton about the dead salmon he reminded us that decomposers help break down the salmon and return the nutrients to the soil. Mr. Hamilton told us that sometimes he dissects dead salmon to see if they had spawned. By being at the viewing platform, we had first-hand experience studying the salmon’s habitat and hearing about its lifecycle from Mr. Hamilton.

Salmon swimmingObserving salmon activitiesFirst, a male and female mate by finding each other and the male fertilizes her eggs by releasing his milk from his sac. This process has only 60 seconds to be completed because the male milk dies. When the eggs hatch, the alevins (new born fish) eat food from their yolk and eventually become fry then smolts. Smolts swim down streams into an estuary where they feed on small insects that fall off trees. Now adults, salmon eat small fish in
Observing salmon activities the ocean and live there for 2 to 3 years. Salmon swim back to the stream they were born in because they want to spawn. Their sensitive sides can sense the chemicals in each body of water to find their home stream. This journey is treacherous and few salmon survive because of natural predators, urban development, and sea lice from salmon farms. Once they find their destination, they try to mate and then they die. For example, only a few salmon survive to spawn from roughly 2500 eggs (Hodge, D., Salmon, 2002).

Reading about salmonsWe know that salmon are an important resource not only to our First Nations community but to all British Columbians. First Nations people or Aboriginal people used salmon for food, clothing, and tools. Now, salmon, farmed and wild, are a food source for many people all around the world. It’s important that we preserve the salmon habitat. We are inspired to learn more about salmon because it’s important to the food chain and food web.

A salmon We too didn’t know about this area in Brothers Creek until we went on this fieldtrip. So, go explore your neighbourhood because you might be inspired to help preserve and learn about special areas in your community.


Leave a comment



[This article has 65 responses]
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Wow, what a wonderful article, so interesting, informative, and well written. I was so impressed by these students' involvement in the community, the pictures, enthusiasm, and willingness to share. I may just have to be adventurous and check out Brother's Creek. This article sure made me realize how important the preservation of our delicate environment really is!
Well done, Alexandra, Blaise, Jenna, and Tanner.

Thank you,
Mrs. S.

Mrs. S., BC
Posted at November 30 2011 at 6:55 AM EST

who nice job i wish i could see in person.

erika, TX
Posted at December 02 2011 at 9:03 AM EST

Alexandra, Blaise, Jenna, and Tanner, I was so impressed with your article. It is so important for young people to learn about the environment and how we can take care of it. I will be looking forward to reading your next article. Well done!!!

Mrs. Foster
Westcot Elementary School

Mrs. Foster, BC
Posted at December 08 2011 at 9:18 AM EST

I thought it was cool that you guys got to go see salmon.I never saw one before.Also i never saw salmon mate like you did.

Dylan, NY
Posted at January 02 2012 at 5:41 AM EST

This is a really interesting project .... and so beautifully presented.
Well done!

Sally , BC
Posted at January 30 2012 at 9:38 AM EST

i think this article was amazing.And also my favorite part are the pictures but i wish next time i have to read one of these article they come with captions.

jenny, FL
Posted at January 30 2012 at 9:39 AM EST

good job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jamya, FL
Posted at January 30 2012 at 9:39 AM EST

I think the salmon is interesting to learn about and i've never seen one before so i would like to see one in real life myself.

Andrew , FL
Posted at January 30 2012 at 9:39 AM EST

wow nice job.

sabrina, FL
Posted at January 30 2012 at 9:39 AM EST

I like the paragraph and the pictures and salmon is very healthy and good

lance , FL
Posted at January 30 2012 at 9:39 AM EST

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