This is an archived page from 2021 Virtual Classroom Hatchery Program
Atlantic Salmon were native to Lake Ontario, but became extirpated from the lake by the late 1890s due to environmental degradation, damming of rivers, and overexploitation. The classroom hatchery program’s goals are to create future stewards connected to the environment and caring for our watersheds while helping to raise this native fish for restoration.
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.
From our virtual classroom, students will observe Atlantic Salmon development from egg to fry and will learn about their biology, history, and ecology through weekly videos. Teachers will have the opportunity to schedule live question and answer sessions with our biologists and will be supplied with curriculum-linked lesson plans about Atlantic Salmon to use throughout the year. In May we will go on a virtual field trip to release the fish in a local restoration stream. This program offers excellent educational opportunities connected to fish biology, natural and cultural history, habitats, ecosystems, and environmental stewardship.
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
- 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