250 Coho into creek
After months of raising and carefully monitoring hundreds of fry, students of Clark Elementary let them go last week.
Students in Liza Rickey and Ellen Ferrin’s classes released their salmon on April 3, but not until after they tested the water of Issaquah Creek.
The classes, which raised the salmon from the egg stage in an aquarium tank at the school since January, released 250 small Coho salmon into the creek.
“It’s like letting go of your favorite stuffed animal,” fifth-grader Jane Heffernan said. “You want it to go to a good home.”
The classes have been monitoring the water quality of Issaquah Creek all year long, and their worries about high phosphate levels prompted them to hold an eco-friendly car wash in March.
On the day they released the salmon, the class also tested the turbidity, pH, temperature, phosphates, nitrates and dissolved oxygen levels in the creek.
The classes still have a few salmon that they will continue to let grow in the aquarium until June.
“We couldn’t catch them,” Rickey said. “I didn’t expect that to be so hard.”
The test results on the creek water came back fairly normal, with the pH, temperature and nitrates all in the healthy range. Dissolved oxygen came back at an unhealthy level. Two readings of the phosphate levels had different results: one test reading 1, which is healthy and the other at 4, which is not.
“(Those two measurements) average to 2.5, which is kinda healthy,” fifth-grader Hannah Matson said.