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Salmon Summit

I could feel it! There was an excitement in the air that we hadn’t had the pleasure of taking in for over two years. Two years! When many of us who work with the public began our careers, we never imagined really experiencing a global pandemic that would stop our education and outreach work.

It was unimaginable.

Now, hopefully, we are on the other end of the COVID pandemic, and there was an electric vibe in the air at the recent 30th Annual Benton County Salmon Summit in Kennewick, Washington!  This was also the first field trip for these students in two years. Imagine being in elementary school and the next time you can attend a field trip you are in middle school.

The Columbia Gorge National Fish Hatchery’s Information and Education team has participated in the event since 2004, minus the last two years due to COVID-19. Our office brings the ever-popular Migration Golf – Links to the Sea miniature golf course that depicts the life cycle of salmon.

Salmon Summit is the culminating activity for several Salmon in the Classroom schools east of the Cascades. After raising fish through the winter and spring, Salmon Summit provides students with an outdoor learning experience that enables them to release the fish into an approved water body. The event had its beginning at the Horn Rapids County Park, west of Richland, Washington. The last decade the event has moved to Columbia Park in Kennewick, Washington. The venue is ideal, there is plenty of Columbia River access for the salmon release and the park is a beautiful setting for the 30-plus learning stations.

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