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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

COLEMAN NFH: Hatchery Works With Community During Summer Reading Program

Region 8, September 19, 2011
Photo 1. Brett Galyean introduces the salmon life cycle during the “ Fun with Fish” day at Cottonwood, CA library.
Photo 1. Brett Galyean introduces the salmon life cycle during the “ Fun with Fish” day at Cottonwood, CA library. - Photo Credit: n/a

This summer staff from Coleman National Fish Hatchery (NFH), in Anderson, Calif., were invited to participate in the local community library summer reading program.  The Cottonwood library theme “Fun in Kitchen” was a great fit for a salmon-raising hatchery.

Each week an invited guest focused on a different food source, fowl, beef, fish etc.  The age group of children attending the reading program was 3 to 12, with the bulk of them between the ages of 5 and 7.

Although not a typical event for the hatchery, staffers eagerly accepted the challenge.  Brett Galyean, deputy project leader from Coleman NFH, participated in the reading program. Playing off the theme, Brett Galyean brought in different visual aids focusing the presentation on the salmon eggs and early life stages of the salmon.  The first was a jar full of eggs from one Chinook salmon (about 5,300 eggs) and children attempted to guess how many eggs were in the jar.  After about a dozen or so guesses the children were able to guess a number close to the right one.

Galyean also brought a picture showing the five stage egg lifecycle of fall Chinook salmon from Coleman NFH. The salmon lifecycle display really caught the childrens attention and they were able to see the development that the salmon go through in just a few short months.  Next up, a Rainbow Bright fish story and a chance to craft their own winds socks with fish on them. 

This opportunity gave the hatchery staff a chance to introduce the salmon life cycle to children, the fish that are raised at Coleman National Fish hatchery and "hopefully sparked their curiosity about local wildlife," Galyean said.

Contact Info: Brett Galyean, 530-365-8622, brett_galyean@fws.gov