Atlantic Salmon
Northeast Region
Life cycle of Atlantic slamon. Credit Bob Michelson
Credit: Bob Michelson

Atlantic Salmon in Schools

Elementary school students searching the stream. Credit: Gillian Ball/USFWS
Elementary school students in large waders searching the stream with nets. Credit: Gillian Ball/USFWS

Partner-supported salmon-in-the-classroom education programs allow students to hatch salmon eggs and rear salmon in classroom, later releasing them into appropriate habitat in or near their communities.

While the precise programs vary, all of the programs are science-based, and designed to inform and empower students as the future generation of natural resource stewards. These programs are interdisciplinary and they go beyond classroom borders to involve the local community in resource management.

  • The Atlantic Salmon Egg Rearing Program, is a cooperative environmental education program designed to promote an understanding of fisheries restoration and management and hands-on watershed stewardship through experiential learning in the classroom. Trout Unlimited initiated the program in MA in 1997, and 33 schools in Western Massachusetts currently participate.
  • The Adopt-A-Salmon Program is active in 65 schools, including 27 in Eastern Massachusetts, 22 in New Hampshire, 14 in Rhode Island and two in Maine. This program is in its 18th year. Through the program students experience and learn first hand about salmon restoration and other aspects of wildlife biology and conservation. The program gets students outdoors and teaches them stewardship in protecting natural resources.
  • The Atlantic Salmon Federation’s Fish Friends program reaches 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students in over 700 schools in Canada and the Eastern United States. The Connecticut River Salmon Association makes use of this program in 53 schools in Connecticut. This program started in 1997, and has grown substantially through the efforts of its volunteers.
  • The Maine Fisheries Program Salmon in Schools Program educates students about Atlantic salmon and their habitats and rebuilds wild populations of endangered Atlantic salmon in their native watersheds. Each year since 1995, students in many area schools across Maine raise endangered Atlantic salmon fry in their classrooms and stock them in early spring.


See photos of the Atlantic Salmon Egg Rearing Program in Monson, MA

Learn about one classroom’s experience of this program


Last updated: December 21, 2011
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