Raising salmon: 'I tried not to squish him'

COOS BAY, Ore. -- Students at Blossom Gulch Elementary School got a special life-cycle lesson from a school of fish.

About 200,000 baby fall chinook salmon were released into a stream next to the school.

Recently, students were given their very own fish eggs to take care of in class.

Amelia Schaefer, a second grade student explained how easy it was to care for them. "Dipped them in a fish tank and then they hatched," she said.

Connor Deleon said he was very careful. "I tried not to squish him."

The fish will be kept in the stream for a couple of weeks and then released nearly 2,000 feet under the city, according to Tom Rumreich, an ODFW STEP biologist. "The children here get to participate in the process of holding them, but they also generate a fishery at the Coos Bay boardwalk."

By next fall these fish should weigh as much as 6 pounds, and they will be making their way back into the bay.