This week with the help of several Otter parents, we took a field trip to Rood Bridge Park in Hillsboro to release the salmon. As part of our release preparations, we wrote goodbye letters to the salmon. After watching them grow from tiny eggs into swim up sack fry we have become quite fond of them. Many students gave them good advice such as: “watch out for bears” and “there might be bait that looks good, but DON’T take the bait”! Others wrote hopes and wishes for them such as “I hope you will make a lot of friends” and “I hope you make it all the way to the ocean”.
To get to Rood Bridge Park we got to ride a school bus which was a new experience for some of us! We took the salmon down to the boat launch which is on the north bank of the Tualatin River. One student read a poem that she had written for the salmon. Next, we very carefully released the salmon in small groups and encouraged them to “swim free!” Ask your student to tell you some of the ways we had to be extra careful when we were releasing the salmon. (hints: the procedure with the cups and where we put our feet)
After releasing all 400+ salmon we explored the multiple trails at the park and completed a nature scavenger hunt. We found things such as pinecones, a bird nest, animal tracks, animal fur, and, bushes with berries. We felt bumpy trees and soft, moss covered stumps. We listened to the wind in the leaves and heard many ducks calling to each other. Several students even reported seeing evidence of bears and leprechauns!
To complete our park adventure, we ate our lunches together and played at the playground. When we returned to school we shared about some of the things that we saw and heard during the scavenger hunt. Finally, we wrote and drew about our experience. We all went home very tired that day!