Education & Community Involvement
Mid-Columbia Fisheries involves volunteers and community members in salmon recovery. We believe hands-on opportunities to help restore habitat and salmon populations will help foster the commitment needed to sustain wild salmon in rivers in eastern Washington. In 2016 we made contact with over 5,000 adults and children!
Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group is working with eight school districts in the Mid-Columbia Region to provide meaningful watershed education experiences. Through in-class lessons and field trips, we increase students understanding of the interconnections of salmon, watersheds, oceans, and climate change. Mid-Columbia Fisheries engages students in hands-on watershed monitoring and restoration activities fostering the sense that each individual can make a difference.
Funding support is provided by NOAA’s Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) program. Click here to be linked to the program’s website.
Salmon in the Classroom
Several schools participate in rearing Chinook salmon in a classroom aquarium in conjunction with a science curriculum focused on the salmon life cycle, oceans and climate change. When salmon reach the fry stage, a field trip is hosted where students release their salmon and learn about the local ecosystem and how it connects to the larger environment. Field trip activities include water quality testing, macro-invertebrate sampling, large woody debris and fish habitat exploration, guided nature walk, hands-on erosion activity, and the salmon life cycle game.
Mid-Columbia Fisheries’ Watershed Connections programs are tailored to the needs of individual schools. The program connects local watershed issues and salmon recovery to ocean science, and includes in-class lessons and field trips. The program enforces concepts students need for the state-required “end of course” biology assessments and links to the federal next generation science standards. The program supports teachers and students in designing small research projects and collecting data. Students learn about salmon recovery, ocean acidification, nutrient cycling, food web, climate change, and human impacts. Field activities include planting trees, surveying vegetation transects, testing water quality, and sampling macro-invertebrates.
College interns assist with a variety of projects, including stream surveys, project stewardship, monitoring, the Bull Trout Task Force and much more. To find out more about opportunities for internships, contact Melissa Babik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“My volunteer internship allowed me to work outdoors every day and gain field skills I will use in my career.” – Garrett Pittis, former Mid-Columbia Fisheries intern.
Each year, volunteers help plant trees and clean up salmon-bearing streams. Last year, our volunteers donated more than 3,000 hours to help restore salmon habitat.