Salmonids: In and Out of the Classroom

This project is divided into four sub-projects each with its own objectives and the results. Project #1 involved secondary students from 2 district high schools (Barriere and NorKam) working with the Simpcw Nation on a 3 day retreat with a focus on Streamkeeper training (Mods. 1.2.3 & 4); combined with cultural learning and career information. The Simpcw Nation worked with us and was responsible for most of the cultural training, and we worked collaboratively to plan the retreat and the careers section. Several guests worked with the students (“Fisheries officer, Hatchery personnel, etc.) Gord Stewart and Joanne Nicklas delivered the Streamkeepers training. Project #2 had a similar focus, but involved elementary students. Both classes of elementary students received training in ethnobotony, aquatic and terrestrial invasive species, technology, modified Streamkeepers course, (Modules 1,2,3 & 4) and historical and cultural components. The classes involved were from Chief Ataham School (First Nations School) in Chase, BC and Bert Edwards Science and Tech. School in Kamloops. Classes visited each others’ school twice; sharing information and exploring the surrounding territory as it related to the topics. Project #3: The Angling Ambassadors program is a pilot project of Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC where the local BC Wildlife Federation Club works with the general public to promote fishing and provide information and advice at various lakes in the region. High school students were to get Angling Ambassador training, as well as Pleasure Craft Operation Certification, fly-tieing, and aquatic insect training. This training was all to go towards their Career and Personal Planning program hours, which is a graduation requirement. NorKam and Westsyde Sec. schools had students involved in the Pleasure Craft Program; however the Angling Ambassador program was not fully implemented. We did have community club guests help in the classrooms with fly-tieing, and discussing local issues; but students did not get the opportunity to work at the local lakes as an ambassador. Westsyde Sec. did have 2 classes of students participate in an overnight fieldstudy at Roche Lake; where “fish, habitat, Streamkeeper” topics were covered. Project #4: The final project was linking community groups, First Nations groups, Ministries, (Fisheries, Forestry, Environment) and individuals together to not only learn from one another, but to provide the community at large with learning opportunities which would encourage behaviour change. This was accomplished in several ways: Over 1 000 students and parents visited the salmon fry release site this spring (and approximately the same number last year); and participated in stream simulation activities that encouraged responsible behaviour and attitudes. The City of Kamloops Environmental Educator worked with us during Rivers Day, Earth Day, Storm Drain Marking Program, and helped the School District with the Mind Grind competition. We planned and worked together, and involved the University’s welding department to make a hands-on model of the water as it comes into the city treatment centre and the waste water leaving the city. We also made posters to discuss water use (and abuse). The environmental educator also worked with several schools who wanted to be involved in the Storm Drain Marking program; providing maps and assisting the students near their schools. All of this involvement helps participants make better decisions in the future regarding the environment.