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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


March 8, 2003 - Issue 82


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New Project puts Live Trout in 12 Schools

by Char-Koosta News

Westslope Cutthroat TroutPABLO -- Teen-aged students up and down the reservation are studying fisheries biology in their science classes, thanks to the Tribes' Natural Resources Dept. and Salish Kootenai College.

NRD and SKC are cosponsors of the Native Fish Interactive Program designed by doctoral candidate Michael LaFlamme of the University of Montana in Missoula to help students appreciate native fish through "place-based and experiential learning."

"A better understanding of these fish can give us insight into ways to maintain a healthy environment for future generations," LaFlamme said.

Tribal fisheries biologist Barry Hanson added that restoration of native species can't be achieved without the full support and involvement of the entire community.

"We hope that knowledge of native fish species will allow a conservation ethic to develop in these students," he said.

The project has supplied 50-gallon cold-water-fish aquariums to 12 middle and high schools that have agreed to incorporate weekly mini-lessons into their regular science curriculum and to provide support such as tank maintenance.

Middle school students in St. Ignatius, for example, spent a recent morning at Mission Creek doing resource inventories and gathering fish and habitat items such as rocks, plants and bugs.

Westslope Cutthroat TroutThe project has also contributed hatchery-bred Westslope Cutthroat Trout, aquarium accessories (such as specialty pumps that simulate stream currents and keep the water properly aerated) and data-collection forms.

The young science students will generate research data that will be collected and contribute to better practices for restoring native fish populations and the reservation environment, LaFlamme said last week. Information will also be used to design a proposed Flathead Lake InterActive Center in Polson.

The students are also asked to write "self-reflections" to help them notice changes and improve the project in the future.

Participating schools include Ronan middle and high schools, St. Ignatius Middle School, Polson middle and high schools, Dixon Elementary School, Hot Springs High School, Arlee Junior High, and Two Eagle River School in Pablo.

Westslope Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi)
Westslope Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi) is a subspecies of Cutthroat Trout native to Montana.  Despite the species' common name, its natural range is on both sides of the Continental Divide.  The Westslope Cutthroat Trout is found in the Kootenai watershed, the Clark Fork watershed, the headwaters of the Missouri river and the headwaters of the Saskatchewan River.  This subspecies is also found in Idaho and Canada and has a few scattered populations in Wyoming, Washington and Oregon.

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

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