Salmon Program

Salmon at Wilder

The Salmon are back at Wilder! This will be a very exciting journey for all of us to watch and learn about the lifecycle of our Pacific Northwest salmon. You can find the fish tank around the corner from the library. Be sure to stop by and check out what our salmon are up to. In the Spring, when they're strong and ready, the salmon will be released into Collins Creek behind Wilder.

In 2023, we had our lifecycle filmed and featured a lot of our Wilder students. Check it out here


Have your student check out the display at the school's fish tank.┬áIf you have any questions or comments, please email [email protected].


Salmon are cold-water fish and prefer temperatures below 68 degrees F. Once you can see the eyes, they are strong enough to leave the hatchery and enter our school fish tank. They will be in this stage for about 3-4 weeks.

If you notice a "gold rim" around their eyes, this typically means the eggs will hatch in a day or so.

The Issaquah Fish Hatchery is providing our school with the salmon eggs. This hatchery is a great location to take your family to see salmon in the Fall or their displays all-year round. For more information, check out their website here.

Photo Source: Seattle Aquarium



Sac Fry

In late Winter or early Spring, the eggs will hatch. Young fish, called sac fry or alevin, grow rapidly under the gravel for one to three months.

A sac fry is a fragile creature with huge eyes and a large yolk sac
protruding from its belly. The orange sac contains a completely balanced diet of proteins and sugars.

Photo Source: Seattle Aquarium


Once the salmon uses up their sac are now called fry. They swim up to the surface, gulp air to fill their swim bladders, and begin to feed. In the wild, fry spend a year or more in their creeks feeding on insects and other tiny animals.

At Wilder, our Third Grade students begin to feed the fry at each recess. They'll be responsible for identifying the tank temperature in addition to feeding the fry. It's an exciting responsibility for our students.

Photo Source: Bay Nature



Releasing Back Into The Wild

The Wilder Kindergarteners and their Third Grade buddies take a hike to the Wilder Watershed and take turns releasing all of the Coho salmon fry back into the wild. Each student receives their own fry to name, wish them well and find a safe spot in the creek to watch them swim away.

We hope they have a safe journey out to the ocean and back.



This page was last updated on January 4, 2024