After raising salmon from eggs over the course of the school year, students at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic School in Belmont have released the young salmon into the Rogue River. The students participated in Salmon in the Classroom, a Michigan Department of Natural Resources program that gives students the chance to observe the salmon life cycle.
On May 11, 2017, students gathered to pray for the salmon before walking from their school to the release point. Once there, older students helped younger students use a gutter as a ramp to slide each young fish into the river one at a time. As they eased each fish into the ramp, they also poured river water down the ramp in order to help the fish acclimate to the new environment.
The students released about 80 fish, after starting with about 150 eggs. Throughout the school year, students helped raise the salmon, maintaining the water in their tanks and seeing them through to the day of their release.
Seventh-grade teacher Mrs. Brenda Sack oversaw the school's participation in the salmon in the classroom program. "I thought this was wonderful, seeing everyone out there," she said on the day of the release. "I think they truly enjoyed it, being at the river's edge and working with their partner to release the salmon. They seem to all enjoy it; the smiles are pretty telling!"