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The Oregon Hatchery Research Center Education


Bring Your Class to OHRC

To schedule a field trip or learn more about current education opportunities at the center, contact:
Joseph O’Neil, OHRC outreach coordinator, at (541) 487-5512 or e-mail.

studentThe educational mission at Oregon Hatchery Resource Center is to “educate the public on the relationship between hatchery and wild fish; the connection between fish and the watershed, estuarine and ocean systems; and the implications for fish management and stewardship.”

Activities at the center are designed to actively engage students in hands-on activities. With help from teachers, parent volunteers, facility staff and interns, students that visit the facility might, for example, sample benthic invertebrates (bugs); handle adult salmon; view wild spawning fish; collect and identify juvenile fish; dissect fish to study its anatomy; sample adult and juvenile salmonids for genetic analysis and/or engage in an art activity.

(Salmonid is a member of the suborder Salmonoidea and includes salmon, steelhead and trout.)

In addition, we offer a working tour of the facility with an update on what the center is doing in the area of hatchery and wild salmonid research.

The facility is actively working to establish curriculum that will address Oregon benchmarks as well as provide educational opportunities for all Oregonians. Current educational opportunities at the center include:

Fish dissection: Students will learn the internal and external anatomy of a salmonid. We’ll learn about general fish structure and internal anatomy by dissecting and examining various organs and parts of a fish. Life cycle and the importance of fish in the eco system will be a focus of the class.

Juvenile salmonid identification: Students will collect, anesthetize, and identify juvenile salmonids from a floating fish trap. The exercise focuses on using a key to detect subtle differences within the species. The fish will then be returned to the creek.

Aquatic insect collection and identification: Students will learn standardized collection techniques used in macro invertebrate sampling. The focus will be on identifying aquatic insects and understanding their importance in determining stream health.

Native plant identification: This a walking exercise that takes the students around the facility grounds while they learn to identify native and invasive plants with emphasis placed on habitat health.

Adult Salmonid handling and sampling: During this activity the students will work alongside staff to collect and identify returning adult salmonids. The students will be provided waders and will be involved in the collection of genetic samples, scale samples, stable isotope samples, data collection and photographing the fish.

Stream Observation: This exercise uses observation skills and tests the students ability to detect differences and similarities in the Research Centers simulated streams.

Electrofishing: Older students will learn to collect fish using a backpack shocker. This activity is limited to availability and is restricted by student size due to the weight of the equipment and the depth of the water. A focus on habitat, rearing areas and survival strategies will be explored during this exercise.

Questing: During the Quest, classes, families or individuals will find a series of clues that will lead them to the location of a hidden box. Inside the box is a guest book and a unique rubber stamp. Questers who successfully find the hidden box can sign the guest book and stamp their clue book as a sign of accomplishment. Participants in the OHRC Quest will learn about the facility and follow a route the will guide them on a tour of the many part of the Oregon Hatchery Research Center.

Industrial and Graphic Arts: These activities are available to interested students and groups wishing to explore opportunities to design and build structures at the facility and to create visual exhibits on site. This is an opportunity for students to create a lasting example of student work.

Outdoor Classroom: The facilities at the Oregon Hatchery Research Center are available to instructors as an outdoor classroom. The instructors may design an activity that is conducted on site under the direction of the teachers.

Spawning Observation: During the fall there is an excellent opportunity to observe spawning activity. The salmon spawning starts in mid October with the height of activity occurring during November. Students can expect to clearly see spawning behavior and will learn about the specifics of salmon spawning in the wild.

The staff will work with educators to develop specialized programs to meet educational goals.


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