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Following Fishes: an anadromous lesson for secondary science students

Lesson Description:

Designed for high school biology class, this lesson focuses on anadromous fish of Idaho, chiefly Chinook and Steelhead, with an emphasis on the technology used to manage these species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Not only are salmon fisheries important to the Idaho economy, they are a large part of our culture and a potential source of future employment and political decision making.

This lesson covers basic anadromous salmon biology, current management, and the technology used to track salmon as they migrate through our river systems. It can take from 3 to 5 hours (class periods) to complete the lesson depending on how in-depth the teacher chooses to cover the subject as laid out in the lesson plan.

Lesson Materials:

Following Fishes Lesson Plan (PDF)

  • guides teachers through the lesson
  • lists objectives, required and accessory materials, modifications, and skills used
  • applies the lesson to Idaho Content Standards

Following Fishes Lesson (PowerPoint®)

  • Students learn about Idaho's anadromous salmon biology, lifecycle, threats, and the technology used to manage them

Following Fishes Worksheet (PDF)

  • Students use a PIT tag to retrieve information about a specific fish from the PTAGIS database
  • Students use information from PTAGIS to retrieve data from the DART database
  • Students combine information and graphs to answer questions and form hypotheses about salmon migration and survival

Following Fishes Worksheet Teacher's Guide (PDF)

This helps the teacher understand the worksheet and answer questions the students may have

Chinook and steelhead PIT tag numbers and relevant data (Excel®)

PIT Array Locations (Excel®)

Release Locations (Excel®)

Map of Snake Basin PIT Arrays (PDF)

Useful Links

PIT Tag Information Systems (PTAGIS)

Columbia River Data Access in Real Time (DART)

Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Idaho Department of Education Science Content Standards

US Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District