I am glad that you decided to take this course and I hope that you enjoyed your studies. The Miramichi River is a special ecosystem that is close to the hearts of many Miramichiers.
I trust that you have gained a better understanding of the river that we call home and an appreciation towards the Atlantic Salmon, a valuable species in more ways than one!
Over the past semester we have done a wide variety of learning opportunities. Since this course is new and unique, there is always room for improvement. If you have any suggestions and/or comments, please reply to this post.
Congratulations on your Graduation and I hope to see you in the future… maybe on the water.
Emily and I went to Gretna Green and we taught a grade 4 class. We did our lesson on oil spills. We had a power point explaining what and how oil spills happen and how they affect animals. We did two labs with the class. For the first lab, we had a bucked and filled it with water and colored it blue to represent the ocean, we had a toy boat and filled it with oil. We told a story how the oil spilled into the water and showed the class how oil spills spread, and only stay on the top of the water and can trap the fish below. Our second lab, we showed the class a feather and asked them to describe it, we wrote down everything about the feather. Next we took the the feather and put it into our oil spill from the previous lab. We got the students to describe the feather again before we cleaned it and analyzed it once more. This lab was to help the students that once there is an oil spill and the bird in this case gets stuck, it wont ever go back to its original feathers. We had a great time at Gretna Green and the students asked lots of questions and were really involved!
ATLANTIC SALMON PRESENTATION
This was our powerpoint presentation that we used to teach the grade 6/7 class at Millerton School about Atlantic salmon.
For this eco challenge i read “Luther Corhern’s Salmon Camp Chronicles” by Herb Curtis. This book is about Luther’s adventures as a fishing guide on the Miramichi river. He has a dream of being a writer. His life is devoted to the river- and even his vacation that he takes is to fish on the miramichi river. This book proves how passionate people can be about fishing. This book made me giggle all the way through with the “miramichi word choice” and the adventures that Luther and his friends go through together. I would recomend it to anyone who is passionate about fishing or the miramichi.
The trip we took on Monday was an awsome experience because we learned a lot of things on how salmon are tracked and the process biologist had to do just to keep the salmon alive. For example when they were finished implanting the tracking device, they had to run as fast as they could to the live box before the fish came out of the temporary coma. Another thing I found interesting was how big some of the tracking devices that they were putting on the salmon. The thing that enjoyed the most was going fishing and learning that I am not very good at casting with a spincast reel. The surgery they did on the salmon was really cool because of how fast they had to go to implant the acoustic tag and stich up the incision.
The day spent with the Miramichi Salmon Association (MSA) has to have been one of my favorite field trips to date. In watching their surgery of implanting a tag in the salmon we were able to learn many things from the biologists. Female salmons have a rounded mouth, while males have a hook. They told us that females are preferred to perform the operation on. Beginning with a container full of clove oil the MSA workers dunked the fish in and left them to soak for five minutes. This made the fish numb to any pain that might be felt during the procedure. Once the five minutes passed they loaded the fish into a wooden contraption that it would lay in during surgery. They weighed and recorded the weight and length of the fish before bringing it over to the table to start surgery. Lying on its back, one worker cut an incision into the stomach of the fish and pushed a small, sonic tag into the canal they assured does not affect any surrounding organs. Once this was complete and stitched up, the fish was turned to its stomach so MSA could poke two holes beneath the dorsal fin and connected a larger satellite tag to the created harness. All the while a separate worker was dousing the fish with water, either from a sponge or a bottle. Once both tags were successfully attached a worker would run it to the live box in the water, where the fish would stay to recover.
While the science of the tracking tags was fascinating, so was the fishing. Though I failed miserably at it, it was enjoyable to watch others and they’re techniques while I walked the shoreline in search of materials for an upcoming eco-challenge. Thank you for the wonderful afternoon, MSA!