Field Trip: Fish Hatchery



We recently went on a field trip to the Bodine State Fish Hatchery, which is part of Indiana's Department of Nature Resources. They produce hundreds of thousands of fish to put into the local St Joseph River and Lake Michigan. They deal with only 2 species of fish, though - the Coho Salmon and the Skamania Steelhead Trout. The goal is for these fish to eat a type of fish in Lake Michigan that has become extremely overpopulated. 

Inside the fish hatchery, we saw models of what the fish eggs and baby fish look like. We saw the areas where the fish are moved to as they progress from egg to baby to toddler stages. The hatchery gets the fish eggs between November and January, so there were no fish at those early stages to see during our visit.

We were able to see numerous pools of "teenage" fish. There were about 15,000 fish in each round pool. We had an opportunity to throw a fist-full of fish food in and watch the fish clamor and jump to the surface to eat.

There were large pools of adult fish, which were each about 2-3 feet long. These were separated by gender, so that eggs could be harvested from the female fish and then hatched in the hatchery for next year's crop.

At the end of our tour, we watched a brief video and had a Q&A time with the tour guide. 

This field trip was organized by the homeschool co-op we are a part of this fall. They have put together many excellent field trip opportunities for the homeschool group. Today's field trip had over 40 participants and there were another 40+ people who wanted to participate, who will go on a second identical field trip next week!  

Field trips provide such a neat opportunity to learn about something we otherwise could only read about. To see, touch, feel and experience first-hand makes learning fun!


Post a Comment