Participant Resources

Looking for virtual Fish Friends learning opportunities during the Covid-19 school cancellations? Click here for more ideas!

Equipment Setup and Tank Maintenance Information
(includes a link to a video)

A limited number of these life cycle poster sets are available to Fish Friends participants.

Suggested donations of $5-20 will be reinvested in the Fish Friends program.

Contact Fish Friends Coordinator to request yours.


NOAA/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Salmon Lesson Plans designed for grades 5-8

Visuals and Info Sheets:

ASF’s “Wild Atlantic Salmon: A Natural Wonder,” nice visuals and text

NASCO’s (North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization) brief overview of the salmon life cycle with a helpful visual


Fish Friends YouTube Channel: see Atlantic salmon at their various stages throughout the Fish Friends program

Downeast Salmon Federation’s 6-minute video about Atlantic salmon and their unique hatchery method

To the Journey’s End: The Life Cycle of the Atlantic Salmon,” a 30-minute video about the life cycle and struggles of Atlantic salmon, produced in Scotland

Atlantic Salmon Life Cycle 3-minute video, created by Washington Academy students in East Machias, ME in 2019

Salmon Rivers of Downeast Maine 7-minute video, all about the threats to salmon in this region, created by Washington Academy students in East Machias, ME in 2019

Threats to Atlantic Salmon 6-minute video, created by Washington Academy students in East Machias, ME in 2019

Why should we care about endangered species? A short video all about it.


Tarka the Otter

Salar the Salmon
(a few free copies may be available, contact us if you’re interested)

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the permits for?

In order to be able to raise and release Atlantic salmon, an endangered species, Fish Friends participants must have a permit issued by the Department of Marine Resources through the Fish Friends Coordinator and keep it with the fish until they are released. The permit also provides information about where those specific fish can be released in the spring, among other important details.

What if the power goes out or my chiller malfunctions?

Get in touch with your Mentor or the Fish Friends Coordinator as soon as possible.

A TIP TO CONSIDER:   Keep a couple of half gallon jugs of water frozen in the school freezer which can be added to the tank and may hold the temperature until problem is resolved.

When do I start raising the temperature in my tank?

Follow these guidelines unless otherwise specified by your hatchery or Mentor:

  1. Have your tank’s water at 50F by the time the fish need to be stocked
  2.  Keep the temperature as cold as possible as long as possible
  3. Don’t increase the temperature abruptly—a change of 1F twice per week (e.g. Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday—resulting in a total change of 2F per week) should be tolerable.    

For example, if your goal is to stock your fish on May 31st, working backwards from there could look like this:

  • 49F on May 28th
  • 48F on May 24th
  • 47F on May 21st
  • 46F on May 17th
  • 45F on May 14th
  • 44F on May 10th
  • 43F on May 7th (and so on)

When can I release my fish?

Once your tank’s water is at 50F, your fish have developed into fry (no yolk sacs attached), and the stream where you’ll release them is right around 50F too, they should be ready to go into the wild! They can survive as fry in your tank, without supplemental food, for 1-2 weeks.