Salmon in the Schools

Salmon in the Schools supports hands-on learning for Seattle students. Every year, around 70 schools raise young salmon and learn about how human actions impact salmon and our local waterways. We're growing environmental stewardship in students.

In the Pacific Northwest, salmon are important to our history, culture and economy. They are an indicator of the health of our waterways and feed both people and orcas. Each January, classes receive salmon eggs and begin to learn about the salmon lifecycle and what kind of habitat salmon need to thrive. In spring, students take a field trip to a local creek to release the salmon they've raised during the school year.

This program teaches students that we all have a role to play in protecting our local watersheds. Students learn that after they release their salmon, the work of taking care of our watersheds continues every day.


Host Salmon in Your School

Seattle public, private and parochial schools are all invited to get involved with Salmon in the Schools. Curriculum and activities are targeted at elementary grades.

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and partner organizations provide salmon eggs and helps classes care for tanks. Schools can get financial support for tank equipment, repairs and field trips based on need. Schools are asked to keep their salmon tank in a common area so all children and families may learn from it.

For more information about hosting a salmon tank, visit the Salmon in the Schools - Seattle website. Schools outside of the City of Seattle can learn more at the area-wide Salmon in the Schools webpage for outside the city limits


Find Curriculum & Learning Resources - It's More Than Just a Science

We offer two field trips to participating schools:

  • Carkeek Park Salmon Search (Fall): Students visit Carkeek Park to learn about salmon before they receive eggs in December. Adult salmon return to the park each Fall to lay eggs.
  • Salmon release at a local site (Spring): Schools with a salmon tank release their young salmon into a designated creek. Students will get hands-on experience and participate in a learning activity.

In addition to Science, participating teachers use the salmon tank to teach Math, Literacy, Arts and Social Studies/Civics. Activities, videos and lesson plans for teaching about salmon and watersheds are available at the Salmon in the Schools - Learning webpage

Alignment with Washington State Learning Standards and Next Generation Science Standards are provided for each lesson.


Salmon in the Schools - Seattle is a partnership between Seattle Public Utilities, IslandWood, Fauntleroy Watershed Council, Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Public Schools, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Suquamish Tribe's Grovers Creek Salmon Hatchery. Additional stormwater and wastewater learning opportunities include the following:


Public Utilities

Andrew Lee, General Manager and CEO
Address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 4900, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34018, Seattle, WA, 98124-5177
Phone: (206) 684-3000

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Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is comprised of three major direct-service providing utilities: the Water Utility, the Drainage and Wastewater Utility, and the Solid Waste Utility.