Salmon in the Classroom

Since 1998 the Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust has visited primary schools throughout the Isles to talk about native fish and the freshwater environment.  This programme, called “Salmon in the Classroom”, aims to get children interested in the fish and bugs of our local lochs, rivers and burns.  The Outer Hebrides is world famous for its Salmon and Trout; we hope that by talking to pupils they will continue to enjoy and care for the islands freshwaters and fish. Each year we visit a number of schools throughout the islands, and talk about the lifecycle of the Salmon and the various challenges they face both in freshwater and the sea.

Salmon, Eels and Sea trout are not as plentiful as they once were so we must look after them and their habitats carefully.  Pupils listen to a presentation about the lifecycle of the Salmon; we receive positive feedback such as ‘my favourite part of the presentation was the life cycle of the Salmon because I never knew the names of all the stages that the Salmon went through’. Pupils learn about the problems facing fish including chemical pollution, climate change, and alien species. The children think of ways to help fish such as, keeping litter and chemicals away from burns, not wasting energy and contributing to climate change, not killing too many fish on a fishing trip, and not moving water or creatures between rivers.  These types of measure should help to ensure that Sea trout, Eels and Salmon are here for our children (as well as Otters, Sea eagles, Whales, Herons, and Seals) to enjoy in the future.

For pupils, and teachers, the highlight of the each visit is a chance to see fish and bugs from a near-by stream up close.  We take species such as Salmon, Sticklebacks, Brown trout, Eels, and Flounder from local burns to show the children.

In the past this programme is kindly sponsored by Scottish Natural Heritage, the Crown Estate, and the Scottish Government via the River and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland (RAFTS). The project has recently been delivered through OHFT.

If you would like to know more about the ‘Salmon in the Classroom’ project please contact the Trust Biologist.