Salmon in the Classroom

By: Ben Forbush & Wade Bonnici

Native Salmon


The Chinook Salmon are native to the Pacific coast from southern California to northern Alaska and on the Asian shore south to Japan


In order for salmon to live they have to have specific thins, like water temperature ranging from 50 - 57 degrees Fahrenheit. The other things they need are the pH levels to be from 6-7.6 ppm, High Range pH to be from 7.4-8.8 ppm, Ammonia to be from 0-8 ppm, Nitrite to be form 0-5 ppm and finally Nitrate at 0-160 ppm. They live in oceans or lakes for their adult life and live for a small time in rivers, only after they are first born.

Diet (Adult)

Adult Chinook Salmon dine on smaller fish, yum!


Where are They Born?

They are born in fast moving, freshwater streams and rivers.

What do Hatchlings Feed on?

Hatchlings feed on a huge pouch of egg yolk under their bellies.

As They Develop Where Do They Go? What Do They Eat?

As they leave their gravel nest they feed on anything floating near them, but insects are their favorite. The fish migrate to sea soon after they leave their nest, but young salmon spend about 4-18 months living in streams.

Where Do Adult Salmon Reproduce?

They lay their eggs in nests made out of gravel, and those nests are made in fast moving streams and rivers.

Introduction to the Great Lakes

What Species of Salmon are in the Great Lakes? Scientific Name?

The species of salmon in the great lakes are the Chinook, Coho. The scientific names of these fish are Onorhynchus tshawytscha (Chinook), Oncorhynchus kisutch (Coho).

How did they get in the Great Lakes?

They were brought to the great lakes in 1877. By 1969, DNR fisheries managers began stocking Chinooks to control alewives, an exotic species that had a population boom because sea lampreys had eaten their main predators.

How have the Salmon Adapted to the Freshwater of the Great Lakes?

The way they have adapted is they displace the salt in their body with normal water to stay alive.

Where do they Fit in the Ecosystem? Why are they so Important to our Ecosystem?

They are so important to our ecosystem because the salmon consume a lot of overpopulated species, and then help them stay under control. That helps ecosystems because the overpopulated species will not be eating the type of food they eat to extinction.

Great Lakes Food Web

What eats them?

Eggs and newly hatched alevins often are eaten by sculpins and probably other small fishes. Young Chinooks undoubtedly are eaten by larger salmon and lake trout. Large Chinook have very little to fear in the way of predators, except for humans.

What they eat?

While living in the parent stream, young Chinooks consume a variety of terrestrial (land) and aquatic (water) insects and side swimmers. After moving to Lake Superior, they begin to consume a variety of fish, especially smelt and Ciscoes.

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Salmon In The Classroom

Our Thoughts

With the salmon we thought it was interactive, but maybe that it could become more interactive. We thought it could be made more interactive by maybe getting an entire class time to teach about them. Like how their body works and why they need certain things and why they can't have certain things. Also since they will be more grown next trimester it would be the perfect time to expand on how they live to the class. Other than that we thought the project about them was informative and very cool and should be done for many more years!!