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Chum salmon send off from Maple Ridge to the great Pacific

Goodbye Chums event coming up at hatchery
Samuel Robertson Technical secondary students said goodbye to 54 chum salmon fingerlings on Wednesday. Ross Davies with KEEPS said the fish will return from the Pacific Ocean in three years. (Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS)

Students at Samuel Robertson Technical Secondary had a chance to help out the local salmon population like their Maple Ridge colleagues have been doing in elementary schools for several years.

For the first time at a secondary school in the city, a tank was set up to raise juvenile chum salmon. Six student aides maintained the tank at the school and raised 54 chum salmon fry this spring.

The students released the chum into the clear waters of Kanaka Creek on Wednesday, for the long trip, facing long odds for survival, to the Pacific Ocean.

Ross Davies, with Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership Society, told the students – in Grade 8 – that they would be in Grade 11 by the time the chum salmon returned as adults to spawn in the creek.

The event was a preview to the KEEPS’s Goodbye Chums event, April 28 at the Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre in Kanaka Creek Regional Park at 11450 – 256th St. The Goodbye Chums event takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fun activities and games and a tour of the hatchery will be part of the day.

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