Good to Know

Salmon in Schools Project at Hartland School

2017 Update: This is the 5th year of HLT assistance in the Hartland School Salmon in Schools project. Take a look and follow the progress of egg to alevin to fry in the 3rd and 6th grade classrooms.

From 2013:  “They’ve hatched.  We’re parents!!” were among the 6th-graders’ cries mid-January as the first sac fry eyes appeared, reported Science Teacher Deb Costolnick. Mrs.Costolnick and her class are participating for the first time in the Salmon-in-Schools program operated by the Connecticut River Salmon Association (CRSA). It supports the effort to restore Atlantic salmon in the Connecticut River basin, which includes Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut.  According to Stephen Gephard, Senior Fishery Biologist CT DEEP, although the decades-long restoration has been deemed unachievable, efforts will continue to maintain a genetic legacy population for bio-diversity, education, research and angling.  The CT River strain of salmon, distinct from the original Penobscot River source, is becoming unique as the most southern and considered a sentinel species for North Atlantic waters.

To facilitate the program in partnership with the school, HLT president, Sue Murray, did much of the legwork in researching the program and bridging Deb Costolnick and Dick Bell, of the CRSA in working out details, feasibility and logistics of the program as well as coordination with the school administration.

Early October Deb Costolnick, along with HLT directors, Joyce Mueller and Alana Bordewieck, attended an orientation for the project.  With the help of David Costolnick, the tank, chiller and computerized temp probe were set up by Thanksgiving ready to receive the eggs in December, delivered by CRSA liaison, Tom Stanton. HLT donated some materials and assisted with tasks as needed. 

Mrs. Costolnick and the 6th-graders carefully monitor, record data and adjust temperatures daily in the tank throughout the rearing stage. With a school field trip, release will occur into the Farmington River at People’s State Forest this spring on April 26, 2013, so the fish can feed, grow and prepare for their ultimate journey to the sea.

Follow the progress and photos at https://sites.google.com/site/hartlandmiddleschoolscience/Home/salmon-in-schools-program-2013-2014



Salmon in Schools