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Classroom Hatcheries Program

The Atlantic Salmon Classroom Hatchery Program is one of the education components of the Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program (LOASRP).

This five-month hands-on lesson on Atlantic salmon and the biodiversity of the Lake Ontario watershed introduces students, parents, and teachers to the Atlantic salmon species, their history in Ontario, and the restoration efforts to bring back a healthy and self-sustaining population to Lake Ontario. Salmon raised in the hatchery become part of the overall number released into the target streams annually. The Classroom Hatchery program creates long-term environmental awareness and engagement among participating students at the schools.

The goals of the program are to:

  • engage students in a large-scale, historic restoration effort;
  • deliver messages on habitat, stewardship, and biodiversity using Atlantic salmon as a tangible example of those concepts;
  • foster a sense of ownership and stewardship towards an environment that now has “their” fish; and
  • achieve a broader public awareness for the Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program as the students take their experiences with the classroom hatcheries back to their families and communities.

Through the contributions of many partners, the LOASRP partnership currently offers the Classroom Hatchery Program to over 100 schools and other educational facilities from Hamilton to Kingston. Lead partners in the delivery of the program are the OFAH, Toronto Zoo, Ontario Streams, MNRF, and volunteer graduate students at McMaster University. The eggs come from the provincial Harwood Fish Culture Station, and funding for the broodstock that provide the eggs is from both MNRF and lead sponsor Ontario Power Generation.

NOTE: Currently the classroom hatchery program is full and maintains a waiting list for schools interested in participating. From time to time, schools and other facilities able to provide their own funding are able to join the program – for more information, please contact us at info@bringbackthesalmon.ca.

Supported by a partnership of conservation organizations, corporations, communities, schools, governments and individuals