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Fourth-graders in Dan Gilmore's class at Oregon City elementary hatched salmon eggs in their classroom

Fourth-graders in Dan Gilmore's class at Gaffney Lane Elementary hatched salmon eggs in their classroom as a real-world science lesson. It took two to three months to hatch the salmon fry. A refrigeration unit kept the tank water the same temperature as the river.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Noah Baker joins fourth-grade classmates from Gaffney Lane Elementary to release newly hatched salmon fry into the Clackamas River. The three-month unit teaches children about salmon growth and development and habitat needs."I get the eggs every year from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife," Gilmore said. "I've been doing this lesson for 16 years."

Students learned about the life cycle of the fish, and how salmon can change their bodies to move from freshwater to saltwater, and then back to freshwater again when it's time to spawn. Students were surprised to learn how much people have damaged fish habitat.

Once all the fish were hatched, the young scientists joined their families and friends to release the fish into their native habitat, the Clackamas River.

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