Each year I try to set up or make sure we join in some fun field trips being offered to homeschoolers here on the island and thought it would be fun to organize a trip out to a nearby fish hatchery this year.
Salmon roe are incredibly hardy little rubbery feeling balls and can handle quite a bit of touching so the kids all got to hold some and name them :) The little black spots are their eyes and in the incubation room above were trays and trays of mixed salmon roe and milt waiting to hatch and turn into little Alevin in about 3 months.
When we were finished in the incubation room we had a chance to watch some of the workers taking samples from some of the salmon. They do this randomly and they were taking a piece of the liver from this fish to be sent to Nanaimo for analysis.
I actually didn't know this but when the young salmon they raise at the hatchery are released into the rivers and streams they have had their dorsal fins removed so that they can easily be identified when they are adults. The above salmon is a wild salmon and you can see that its dorsal fin is still intact :)
As we finished up our tour we all headed down to the river to watch some of the salmon that were spawning right outside the hatchery naturally and came upon a black bear that had come to check out the salmon as well.
and minutes later he had snatched up one of the salmon and proceeded to take it into the forest for a little afternoon snack *grin*. I guess it was good that we were on the other side of the river when it happened but unfortunately I couldn't get a clear shot of him without all of the fencing in the way. Still very cool for the kids to watch :)
Hope you all had a great week to!