Puyallup Tribe supplies chinook for school kids and creek

From the Federal Way Mirror:

The salmon population in the Hylebos Creek is growing thanks to the work of students at Spring Valley Montessori School in Federal Way.

Every year for nearly 20 years, students at Spring Valley annually raise salmon from eggs to fingerlings, then release them into a creek that feeds into the Hylebos. The salmon are about two inches long when they are released.

Staff at Spring Valley contacted state and local officials for help. The Puyallup Indian tribe provides a tank and salmon eggs each year. Third- and fourth-grade students feed the fish and watch them grow.

“It was pretty fun,” said fourth-

grader Nicholas Crossman. “We got to feed the fish. We got to look after them. We tried not to forget to feed the fish.”

Students learned about the different stages of a salmon’s life and how to be good environmental stewards, Crossman said.

“We learned that pollution can kill a lot of fish and other marine wildlife… Even plastic can kill fish,” he said. “We learned a lot about how reducing pollutants can give the salmon a better chance at surviving.”

A Puyallup Tribe biologist told school officials that 15 percent of the 500 salmon released each year make it back to the area to spawn, Kayihan said.