ONA’s Fish in Schools program is one of the key fish education programs for youth in the region, particularly the Sockeye salmon, so that students may become future advocates for both salmon and their habitat.
Since 2003 Okanagan Nation Alliance’s FinS (Fish in Schools, previously S2S-Stream to Sea) in-class program has been educating regional students and teachers about the salmon lifecycle and the importance of their ecosystem so that they may become future advocates for both salmon and their habitat. FinS supplies the necessary equipment and support needed for students to raise from egg to fry stage. ONA provides a 29 Gallon tank with cover, stand/cart, aquarium chiller, and start up supplies; gravel, filters, filter replacements, siphon, insulated cover, thermometer, water conditioners as well as the salmon spawn.
Beginning in mid-January ONA staff delivered the fertilized eggs to the participating schools and explain the lifecycle and habitat requirements to the students. We also explain the external physical attributes of both male and female Sockeye and answer any questions. Once the eggs have hatched, and buttoned up, the fry will be fed daily until ready for release. During incubation and rearing the tank will be monitored to ensure that water and temperatures are within the healthy limits for raising sockeye.
This year participating schools includes: Tuc-El-Nuit Elementary School, Okanagan Falls Elementary School, Sen-Pok-Chin School, Columbia Elementary School, Sensisyusten House of Learning, Cawston Primary School, Osoyoos Elementary School, Queens Park Elementary School, Outma Squilx’W Cultural School, Enowkin Centre, and Nkmaplks Ismamyatn Klsqilxw Immersion School.
When the sockeye fry are ready they will be transferred to the Penticton Channel where they will be released with the rest of the Hatchery fry at the Annual ONA Sockeye Fry Release.