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Fun Summer Activities: Field Trip; Nez Perce National Historical Park

I went with our fourth grade boys to the Clear Water river.  We went to a site in Lewiston ID, called the Nez Perce National Historical Park.  There were about 40 park rangers there.  They put on an amazing 6 hour presentation.
The information ranged from imprinting, to micro organisms in the water, to Indian folklore, to actually releasing baby steal-heads into the river.  The program was amazing!  The boys got so much out of it.  I can't wait to take all of my kids back this summer.

A hand made eel net, carved with a pocket knife and the net is made from hand woven hemp.

 This guy was phenomenal he made the net shown above, and carved the eel forms, that he later used a cast for these rubber eels.  He is a native of the area.  He talked about the sacred nature of the eel.  His forefathers refer to the eel as the ancient ones.   
 These rangers taught the boys about imprinting.  
We learned that there are 3 ways that helps a fish to return to its original spawning grounds
1) smell
2) sight-they swim backwards to the ocean
3) these crazy little magnetic rocks in their heads that act like a GPS
 The army corp taught us how to measure water velocity.
 This is important for regulating the flooding in Dams, maintaining streams, and figuring out water temperatures.
 This guy taught the kids about measuring water quality by the type and number of the bug larva in the water.
 After all of that the Fish and Game got together and made us lunch!
 Here the park rangers are teaching the kids how to measure the pH balance of the water.  
They also learned about phosphates and the green house effect on water. 
 The kids started raising these steel-heads in March, from eggs.  They watched them hatch, changed their water, fed them, and maintained their water temperature.  
 This lady taught the kids how microchips are inserted in to the fish.  The yellow ring is a scaled down size of the giant rings that are put in to dams, to "scan" the fish as the swim over them.  The microchip can tell the people who study it what hatchery the fish came from, when they hatched, and which direction they are heading.

This is a video of the actual steel-head release in to the Clear Water river.  
I am so happy that the boys got to experience this!  Amazing!!

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing program! My kids would love to participate in something like that. When we last drove cross country, we stopped at almost every National Park so my eldest could participate in the Jr. Ranger program. Our family really enjoys this type of thing. ~ Major Moma


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