A class of fourth and fifth grade students at Central Saanich’s Keating Elementary School are determined to keep salmon they’ve raised throughout the school year alive.
For the past four months, Chris Lee’s class has been raising coho fry salmon.
“We just watched them every day swimming and we’ve learned all about them,” said Lee.
This week, it was finally time to release them into nearby Tetayut Creek, however, after inspecting for pollution, the group was stunned with what they saw.
“The kids were aghast at how much pollution is down here, people just dumping in things like lawnmowers and washing machine panels,” Lee said.
The class also reported finding car tires, wires, clothing and several heavily rusted metal objects.
“We found part of a car actually and beer bottles and glass, it was crazy, there was so much pollution,” said Blake Ball, a fourth grade student.
Ball then led a small group of five back to the creek after school on Wednesday to begin conducting a cleanup. By Friday, that group had grown to 20.
“It affects the salmon and their life cycle and the stream, and it’s already pretty bad here so we’re trying to make it so it flows better,” said fifth grade student Linden Charlton.
Lee says the kids don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
“They’re really passionate about it and they’re planning to come down every day for the next I don’t know how many days, it’s exciting,” Lee said.
And if you’re thinking about dumping your junk in the creek, Ball asks that you think twice.
“These people who put it [in the creek] shouldn’t be doing this,” said Ball. “I think they should probably stop, and they should realize that there’s salmon in here and they shouldn’t be polluting it.”