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Salmon in the Classroom Program

Students and chaperones look for spawning salmon in Putah Creek.

Putah Creek Council's Salmon in the Classroom Program is intended for classrooms participating in the California Department of Fish & Wildlife's Classroom Aquarium Education Program (CAEP, or Trout in the Classroom, Salmon in the Classroom, etc.) and adds in-class lessons and a field trip to the experience of raising salmon eggs in the classroom. 

While students are raising salmon eggs and watching their fish grow, our lessons provide deeper explorations of the salmon life cycle, traits we share with these fish, their interactions with their environment and food webs, and how we can be good salmon neighbors. A half-day field trip to Putah Creek offers the chance to see spawning salmon up-close, dive into a hands-on anatomy activity, and experience salmon adapatations firsthand. 

Our lessons and field trip can be delivered without keeping classroom aquaria, and the specific curriculum can be adapted to meet individual classrooms' needs. This program is grant-supported and we work with schools to offer scholarships where possible.

Salmon in the Classroom is intended for 5th grade classrooms but can be modified to fit other grades. Curriculum, timelines, and field trip schedules vary each year and can be tailored to fit classrooms and teacher interests. 

Example Salmon in the Classroom Schedule:
Late October, Lesson 1: Comparing and contrasting salmon and humans, exploring the salmon life cycle
Early November, Lesson 2: Investigating salmon survival strategies using evidence
Mid November, Lesson 3: Tracking the flow of energy through a salmon food webThree girls piece together a food web activity using a dry erase board.
Late November / Early December: Half-day field trip to Putah Creek to view spawning salmon, explore salmon anatomy, experience salmon adaptations firsthand, and piece together the interactions between salmon and the creek environment


Interested in participating in Salmon in the Classroom?
Contact Nina L., Putah Creek Council Education Program Manager, at