Return to Headlines

Storming the Sound with Salmon Release Event

May 2, 2023

Following Months of Raising, FWPS 4th Grade Students Release More Than 1,600 Salmon Fry in Local Creek.

Federal Way, Wash. — Last week, Federal Way Public Schools elementary scholars participated in the annual Salmon Release at West Hylebos Wetlands Park, a culminating event to the annual Storming the Sound with Salmon program offered in partnership with the City of Federal Way.

In December, each FWPS school received a Coho salmon egg delivery to kick start learning about the salmon life cycle, human impact on that cycle, the internal and external structures of salmon and how it relates to their survival, and how stormwater pollution can impact the salmon within our area. Scholars were able to observe the eggs hatch and become fry, or baby salmon, in tanks at their schools, providing a close look at the natural wonder of the beginning of life. 

Salmon egg delivery at Rainier View Elementary   A Rainier View Elementary scholar looks at salmon eggs in school tank   Rainier view scholars look on as teachers share information about salmon.
Coho salmon eggs were delivered to schools in December 2022. Above: Rainier View Elementary scholars gather together to receive their egg delivery and add them to their tank.

Fourth-grade students are privy to a special experience through the Storming the Sound with Salmon program – the exciting opportunity to release their salmon fry into Hylebos Creek! Approximately 1,600 students participated in this release event, which also included several other release activities about environmental stewardship and the local environment. Students took turns visiting stations featuring the water filtration process, Native storytelling, and more – but of course, the main event was releasing the salmon fry! 

“Goodbye Bob!” exclaimed one student. Scholars had the chance to name their miniature salmon before releasing them into the creek. Some were sad to finally arrive at the moment of release, and others were excited to see the miniature salmon navigate the creek waters. Coho fry will continue their life cycle to mature into an adult, a process that takes about three years. 

Students gather around a Storming the sound station  Students engaging in a release event activity.  Students listen to a story from the Puallyup Tribe Native Language Program.

Meredith Hill scholar sends Coho salmon fry down a shoot into the Hylebos Creek.   City of Federal Way staff facilitate the salmon release.   Green Gables scholars are excited to release their salmon fry.
Fourth-grade scholars participate in the Storming the Sound with Salmon release event.

Thanks to the City of Federal Way for your continued partnership to bring this program to scholars, and thanks to the following community organizations for supporting our scholars’ learning during the event: City of Federal Way Environmental Services, City of Federal Way Public Education Outreach, Lakehaven Water and Sewer District, Long Live the Kings, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, National Wildlife Federation, Orca Conservancy, Pacific Education Institute, Puget Sound WildCare, and the Puyallup Tribal Language Program. 

The Storming the Sound with Salmon program supports Goal 2 of the district’s strategic plan, Whole Child: Thriving, Confident, Responsible Individuals. By taking ownership of protecting the life cycle of local salmon, scholars are developing environmental awareness and a personal responsibility to be positive, productive members of society.