Salmon in the Classroom

The LGA’s in-school Salmon in the Classroom program let’s student raise landlocked Atlantic salmon through the first three stages of life (egg, alevin, and fry) and properly release them in the Lake George watershed. As caregivers of the fish for five months, students use a tank setup that mimics an outdoor environment, including rocks where salmon can congregate and a chiller to control water temperature.

Students at Lake George Elementary School release the salmon they raised for five months.

The program’s general timeline is:

January: Salmon eggs are delivered to participating schools. Each week, tank temperature is increased 1 to 2 degrees.

February: The eggs hatch, releasing tiny alevin that spend time on the rocks. An attached nutrient sac provides food through this stage, which lasts approximately six weeks. 

March: The salmon transition to the fry stage. This is when students begin feeding the fish, which now swim freely around the tank.

May/June: By the end of May, the fry are 2 to 3 inches long and tank temperature is the same as the water in local streams. Teachers apply for a release permit with the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation so the students can set their salmon free within the watershed. Popular locations include West Brook and East Brook in the Lake George Village.