Students from Merryhill Elementary School in Natomas Release More Than 30 Salmon Fry into Sacramento River

NATOMAS, CA (MPG)  |  By Merryhill Elementary

NATOMAS, CA (MPG) - Fourth and fifth graders at Merryhill Elementary School in Natomas recently released 32 salmon fry (small salmon) into the Sacramento River in Discovery Park, after months of raising them in the classroom. Studentsreceived the salmon eggs in November through the California Fly Fishers Unlimited. After Thanksgiving, the fish emerged from the eggs, and students began observing their growth and how much food supply they were using in their yolk sacs. They also helped with feeding the fish and cleaning the tank. Once the fish grew to an adequate size, students gently released them into the river. Following the release, students also helped clean up the riverbank. Next year, the Nimbus Fish Hatchery will notify students with information on how many salmon returned in the winter, and students will investigate whether the number increased to evaluate the impact of their salmon release.

The salmon fry release and river cleanup were part of a group community service project through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Classroom Aquarium Education Program, which is offered statewide in partnership with regionally-based community organizations. Through a classroom experience of hatching fish eggs and coordinated activities, students experience first-hand the value of aquatic environments, the balance that must be met to maintain and preserve California’s fisheries and aquatic habitats and how their personal actions affect these valuable resources.

In late February, the students will complete the same project with steelhead fish. Through these initiatives, students are learning the importance of community service and caring for their community and environment.

About Merryhill Elementary School

Merryhill Elementary School in Natomas, Calif., is part of Nobel Learning Communities, Inc., a national network of more than 200 nonsectarian private schools, including preschools, K-8 and high schools in 19 states across the nation and the District of Columbia. Merryhill Schools provide high quality private education, with a challenging and well-rounded curriculum, caring and skilled teachers and attention to individual learning styles. Many also offer before and after school care and summer camp. For more information on Merryhill School, or to find a school near you, please visit