Salmon in the Classroom Tank Filter - Kinawa - 2021

For over 10 years Paul Hinze has been a part of the Salmon in the Classroom program at Kinawa. This program partners with Michigan’s DNR, allowing schools to raise Chinook Salmon (King Salmon) in the classroom from egg to fry as part of a hands-on learning opportunity. From November to May 5th grade students learn the life cycle of one of the most popular fisheries in the Great Lakes. Kinawa has integrated salmon in the classroom as a part of their ecology curriculum, learning about predator-prey relationships, invasive species and human conservation and impacts.


Two years ago, David Pruden, another 5th grade teacher at Kinawa, received training in the program adding another licensed teacher. This added license doubled the opportunity for more 5th graders to experience the program and in 2020 Kinawa worked again with Preuss Pets to obtain a 2nd tank. Steve Oberg from Preuss offered an old lobster tank that needed TLC for free and Mr. Hinze put in some sweat equity to take an outdated aquarium and get it ready for the program at Kinawa.


Last year, tank 2 raised 150 salmon fry successfully, but the existing sump filtration system did not clean well and had a loud constant sound like someone was brewing coffee in the classroom. The tank required more maintenance and because it was an “open” system there was always the fear of overflow.


Approval of this $400 OEF grant upgrades tank 2 with a new canister filtering system. This upgrade will assure a closed system that can’t overflow and is cleaner and quieter. Now Kinawa has 2 tanks raising approximately 300 salmon that are very efficient and will give all 5th graders a more hands-on experience learning about Michigan’s salmon. Thank you OEF!

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