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Salmon Spawning Adventure

3:47 PM

Well we have not left Washington yet, but that does not mean we have not had some fun adventure time! Currently we are staying at our first RV Park and I have learned a lot about site selection...more on that later though. We are in such an amazing natural area, just a few minutes down the road is a Salmon spawning site so we decided to check it out.

The location is absolutely beautiful! From the old bridge you lookout over the river, it is such a nice view. From that height you can see lots of salmon spawning. We decided, however, that we wanted to take a closer look so a short little hike through the woods led us to the viewing area at the water's edge. The first thing we noticed was the smell. Before we even saw our first fish we could smell them. The End of the salmon lifecycle leaves quite the pungent oder! The next thing we noticed was all of the dead fish in various stages of decomposition.  They were everywhere, in the water, on the banks, everywhere. You really had to be careful where you stepped! Finally we began to see the live fish spawning. It was such a sunny day that the glare on the water made it a bit challenging, but we were able to capture a few pictures.
The girls had a blast. The were filled with questions, so we decided to make it a real homeschool lesson. Today I looked up some fun information for the girls about Salmon. We learned that Salmon are a Keystone species, which means that they are vastly important to their environment providing food and nutrients to both animals and plant life. We found some great information here from the US Forest Service. We looked at the anatomy of the salmon and the lifecycle of Salmon. We learned that fish scales have growth rings much like trees and that by studying the scales you can learn about how old the fish is, you can also learn about the fishes' food supply by studying the rings. The rings will be thinner and close together during times when the fish have less food and is therefore growing more slowly such as during the winter or when the salmon is in fresh water. When food is more plentiful like in the summer or when the salmon is in the ocean the rings are thicker and further apart. Pretty cool, huh?
I think my favorite part was this math lesson:
Stay tuned for the kids perspective on this lesson coming soon!

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  1. Cool! Love the Salmon lesson. Can't wait to read the girls' comments.


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