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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Collier

Fishermen in the Classroom - 2021

Our son Caleb attends an outdoor nature preschool. It’s a fantastic program where they get to really emerge in the world around them, exploring with all their senses. To my great excitement, they just started learning about Salmon and how important they are to our environment and our communities. I’m always thrilled for an opportunity to educate about the commercial fishing lifestyle and jumped at the chance to engage with the kids.

Caleb and I had so much fun sharing our passion and joy of fishing salmon with his classmates. Caleb loved being a teacher for the day, sharing his favourite salmon facts like:

  • There are 5 kinds of salmon Coho, Chinook, Pink, Sockeye and Chum

  • They are this big (see picture with the Salmon stuffy).

  • Salmon have red blood (which is a big deal because Octopus have blue blood 😆).

It was incredible to see him get so excited to share this part of our life with his friends.

Once Teacher Caleb had his turn, I used photos to show the kids our boat and what it’s like to live on it. They found it particularly funny when I showed them how little room you have to turn around when in the tiny tiny bathroom. I also showed pictures of salmon at every stage of the process from catching to cleaning to freezing.

The best part by far, was all the hands on stuff we brought to explore. The morning started with art using fish fins. After our little presentation, the kids played with flashers, hoochies, plugs, spoons, tied gear, clipped off hooks (all filed and smooth for safety) and even trolling wire to practice clipping on the gear. I bought some fish skin to show the kids. We felt the different between exposed skin and skin covered in scales. We talked how the colours of the skin help camouflage the fish when being seen from above and below. Some of the kids spent the entire rest of time pulling scales out and putting them in a container, discovering that scales are nature's glitter (likely another art project soon).

The day finished up with a fun game of fisherman and salmon tag. I started as a fisherman, then somehow piranhas were involved and it ended with me being chased around by a bunch of salmon. Epic day!

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