Every September and October, thousands of Alaskan students visit local rivers and creeks to witness the birth of a new generation of salmon. These students are participants in the UAF Cooperative Extension Service 4-H and Alaska Department of Fish and Game's (ADF&G) Salmon in the Classroom Program.
Schools may choose to collect salmon eggs in their local habitat, or ask for 4-H to ship salmon eggs to them in early December (permit required for either option). This innovative, science-based program allows schools to raise salmon from the egg to the fry stage in classroom incubators. Through participation in the 4-H Salmon Watersheds Environmental Education Program (SWEEP), students take their investigations about salmon outside the classroom and learn about the life cycle and biology of Pacific Salmon species, their habitat requirements, forest ecology, the water cycle, human impact on watersheds, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and ways to protect Alaska’s valuable wild salmon for future generations.