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Smolts for the river

The Dungeness River Audubon Center at Railroad Bridge Park is a "Salmon in the Classroom" site.

Several hundred coho salmon eggs from the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife Hurd Creek Fish Hatchery are being raised in an aquarium at the center at 47 degrees, similar to winter and spring temperatures in the Dungeness River.

Some of the fish will be released into the river by Sequim Middle School sixth-graders as part of an education program sponsored by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grant. Puget Sound Anglers also sponsors the program.

The eggs were removed from adult coho returning to spawn at the Dungeness hatchery in October 2009.

If they hatch within a few weeks, they will be large enough to return to the river later in the spring. Bob Boekelheide, center director, invites the public to visit the fish as they grow. Other fish will be released in late spring and summer. The public may participate in releasing the fish when they are ready.

The Dungeness River Audubon Center at Railroad Bridge Park operates in partnership with the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe, Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society and National Audubon Society. The center is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; noon-4 p.m. Saturday.

Visit www.dungeness rivercenter.org or call 681-4076.

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