Yuba Water Agency Grants $2,500 for Local Aquatics Education “Fish in the Classroom” Program

By on November 4, 2018

Yuba Water Agency (YWA) recently infused the local California Local Aquatics Education “Fish in the Classroom” Program with a grant of $2,500 to be used to help students set up aquariums in their classrooms and observe the early days of salmon or steelhead eggs. The program has been led for nearly 25 years by Greg and Kathleen Payne who teach Yuba County elementary school students about the life cycle of fish and the importance of a healthy watershed.

“This program allows the students to become bonded with nature and it helps them understand the importance of fish, the watershed, and how their everyday lives can impact the health of the river,” said Kathleen Payne, program organizer.

Throughout the course of the program students maintain the water temperature to mimic river conditions. They observe the different life stages of the fish before releasing them into the river to continue the journey on their own. The YWA’s $2,500 grant will allow the program organizers to purchase new fish chilling units necessary for keeping the classroom aquariums at the appropriate temperature for fish to grow, as well as transportation to and from the river to release the fish. YWA has supported the Fish in the Classroom program for more than 20 years by helping fund the maintenance and costs of the aquarium chillers and transportation.

“This is one of my favorite programs to sponsor, said Yuba Water Agency General Manager Curt Aikens. “It’s so impressive when you hear the students recite all of the life cycles of the fish, and to know that they are developing an appreciation for the river and the fish at such a young age is great.”

A video featuring students and employees from Lone Tree Elementary (Beale Air Force Base) and Linda Elementary (Marysville) schools participating in the “Fish in the Classroom” Program can be found at:  https://www.yubawater.org/172/Fish-in-the-Classroom-Education-Program.