Students release baby fry at 2017 Salmon Summit

Students release baby fry at 2017 Salmon Summit

It was the end of a journey for students releasing the salmon they raised from eggs into the Columbia River on Tuesday.

“We’ve had these fish about, how many months? Like five? Five months,” said Nasir Ulrich, a 5th grader at Edison Elementary.

However, it was just the beginning for the baby fry as they started a new adventure.

About 2,600 elementary students from across the state spent the day at the 2017 Salmon Summit at Columbia Park in Kennewick.

Imagine a mother dropping her baby off at daycare for the first time, but 5th grader Remmie Graff said the release felt nothing like that at all.

“If you guys think that fish are an easy pet, you are so wrong,” said Graff.

Students moved from activity to activity with nearly 50 unique stations, including the “Salmon Cannon.”

The cannon is designed to move fish over barriers and through dams faster than traditional technologies, while decreasing their stress as they migrate to spawning grounds.

“Once they enter the tube, we inject a mist of water and the tube itself is flexible so what that does is the fish, with the water around it, and a small (amount) of water in front of it, feels like it’s in water,” said Tom Shearer, president of Whooshh Innovations.

“Surprisingly only two out of 1,000 fish — salmon, survive after they come back upstream,” said Ulrich.

However, the kids who raised the salmon are hoping for the best.

The salmon summit continues Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Columbia Park in Kennewick.