Jon Holmes, left, explains to Katie Cussimiano how a kayak stays afloat

Water Studies Meet Water Fun

by Morgan Jarema  

About 40 sophomores, juniors and seniors in Tammy Coleman's Advanced Placement biology classes marked the day after exams with the release of nearly 50 salmon they raised in their classroom, with equipment provided by a donation from the Schrems West Michigan chapter of Trout Unlimited.

After the release into the Grand and Flat rivers' confluence at the Lowell fairgrounds, students got lessons in safe kayaking from Bill & Paul's Sporthaus, and in fly-fishing from Orvis.

Coleman said the raising of salmon, which her classes have done for at least five years, is curriculum-focused on fish biology, the ecology of the Great Lakes, water biology and chemistry.

"Much of my Ph.D. work was focused on how to get teens involved in the environment, and becoming adults who recreate outside and also care for our Great Lakes," Coleman said. "So this is something near and dear to my heart."

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DNR Salmon in the Classroom program

A Dog Park Runs Through It: Nate Stephens, left, and Zackery Post practice fly-fish casting

Holding oars properly reduces strain and improves kayak maneuverability, students learned

Mary Peterson, left, and Nevada Gale prepare to test the oxygen level of the Grand River at the Lowell fairgrounds

Jayce Perysian slowly introduces river water into a plastic bag with a soon-to-be released salmon. Getting them acclimated improves their chance of survival

They grow up so fast: Kendra Wroten, left, and Emily Roth hold their salmon just before they are released into the Grand River

Lisa Price, foreground, and Thaddeus Schwartz listen to kayak safety tips from Jon Holmes from Bill & Paul’s Sporthaus

Submitted on: June 2nd 2017

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