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LSD students releasing the steelhead they raised in the classrom

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LAPWAI, Idaho– A short walk away from the river bank where they will be releasing the steelhead fry that they have been raising in the classroom all spring.

It was a bittersweet moment for 5th-grader Kaydence Frei.

"It was kinda sad, but it was exciting at the same time because they might come back to the same place and spawn," Frei said.

After hearing that, it may not surprise you that Kaydence's favorite part of this project was looking after the fish.

To her, it felt like more than schoolwork.

"Because we had to take care of them, so it was like taking care of your own pet,"

That is not to say that the lessons they learned took a backseat.

"I think it was a very interesting experience. I really liked learning about the anatomy of the fish," Byrley Comer said.

The life cycle of the steelhead is something at the forefront of every aspect of this project, as the lives of salmon and steelhead are different from many fish.

That was something that Brian Knoth, regional fisheries biologist with the Clearwater Region of IDFG, spoke to every group about.

“So they have a long trip ahead of them, and then they have a long trip back here as well," Knoth said.

"They're anadromous, so they start in freshwater, go to salt water, and then come back to fresh water," Frei said.

The fish migration is not the only steelhead knowledge the students will be taking home with them.

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"I learned that the steelhead are bigger than 28 inches and are also rainbow trout," Comer said.

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