The Fish Friends program has gotten students from across the state of Maine engaged in learning from and caring for Atlantic salmon, an endangered species, since 1992! If you believe in getting kids engaged in hands-on science and fisheries stewardship, there are many ways you can support:
- Become a Fish Friends Mentor: Volunteer to deliver the salmon eggs, support with equipment troubleshooting, and otherwise provide support to a particular Fish Friends school(s) in your area. Training is available. Contact the Fish Friends Coordinator for more information.
- Sponsor a School to Join the Program: The biggest barrier to joining Fish Friends is being able to buy new equipment, which usually costs about $850 for a first time set-up. If you know of a Maine school that would like to join the program and you can provide some financial support, please reach out to the Fish Friends Coordinator.
- Replace a Faulty Chiller: Some schools have had the same Fish Friends tank chillers since the 1990s and they don’t last forever! These chillers are critical for keeping Atlantic salmon alive and at the right temperature. New chillers, which cost $774, are much quieter, smaller, and more energy efficient–and they’re made in the USA. If you can help one of the many Fish Friends schools needing a chiller replacement, let the Fish Friends Coordinator know!
- Provide Field Trip Funding: The highlight of the Fish Friends program is the opportunity to release the young salmon into a nearby stream. This requires a school bus and field trip, which can be hard for schools to afford these days. If you can help make sure Fish Friends schools can afford the final field trip, please contact the Fish Friends Coordinator.