Portland fourth-graders raise and release young Atlantic Salmon

Megan Markgren, a Longfellow Elementary School fourth grade
teacher, and her students release endangered Atlantic Salmon that they
raised in their classroom into a stream near Highland Lake in
Westbrook. (Photo courtesy Portland Public Schools)

Neat story here out of Longfellow Elementary School. Here are a few graphs from a Portland Public Schools announcement explaining:

Fourth graders at Longfellow Elementary School in Portland raised salmon eggs in their classrooms and released the fish into a stream near Highland Lake in Westbrook as part of the Fish Friends program.

Run by the Atlantic Salmon Federation in partnership with the Maine Department of Fisheries, the program teaches students about the endangered Atlantic Salmon, a native species. Longfellow teachers received a $900 grant from the Portland Education Foundation to pay for an aquarium, a chiller to help keep the water cold enough and other

In February, 200 salmon eggs were delivered to Longfellow.

The students closely monitored as the salmon eggs hatched and began their life cycles, and along the way, fourth-grade teacher Megan Markgren said, they became acutely aware of how fragile the young salmon are and how human activity threatens their species survival.

Recently, the class packed about 150 surviving salmon youths into a cooler and each student had a chance to release at least one into the Westbrook waterway. They plan to do it again next year.

Said Markgren in a statement:

The children learned a wealth of knowledge in relation to environmental conservation, the species of fish and the importance of being good citizens of the community. Parents have shared that their children are now picking up trash on the streets before it makes its way into a water drain, all in an effort to help clean up rivers, oceans and lakes.

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Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.