WMAES High School Students Salmon Release

students in waders standing in a riverNinth graders enjoyed a fantastic day releasing the salmon on the Rogue river nurtured by WMAES since the egg stage. Provided by the Department of Natural Resources, the program aims to offer hands-on experience to classrooms statewide, enabling students to raise, learn from, and release young Chinook salmon in approved waterways. Each year, tens of thousands of students gain a deeper appreciation for these invaluable natural resources through this initiative.
King Salmon or Chinook embark on a whirlwind journey in their approximately four-year life span. Astonishingly, they undergo a rapid transformation from finger-sized juveniles to hefty specimens weighing over 30 pounds.
Come fall, male and female salmon are gathered for the crucial task of fertilizing eggs. These eggs, hatching in early December, mark the beginning of the Sac Fry stage. As they progress, the salmon evolve into Parr, their first developmental phase. Parr typically inhabit river environments, feeding during spring before migrating to Lake Michigan in early summer, where they transition into Smolt.
Upon release into the Rogue River, the young salmon feast on various aquatic organisms, preparing for their venture into Lake Michigan. There, they undergo a voracious feeding frenzy for approximately 3.5 years. By the fall of their fourth year, they return to the Rogue River to spawn, each female capable of laying up to 2,000 eggs. After spawning, their color darkens, signaling the end of their life cycle as they perish, thus completing the cycle anew.students in waders standing in a river

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