Waiting in line was never so much fun thanks to a friend sharing her cookies. We all were waiting in line with our buckets to help release Coho Salmon in the stream behind the local hatchery.

Tea party while waiting in line

Lots of fish loving friends were made today.

Making friends

The local sushi restaurant, Opa Sushi was on hand to offer tasty samples. Oh so good.

Love Opa

Lily was so excited to release her little Coho. Instead of just pouring him out in the stream she reached in and carefully held the fish the way she’d been taught. I love her lack of fear. I love her interest and care. She quickly put him in the water and let him swim away.

"I know how to handle fish, mom."

Bye bye "Butterfly"!

Lily with her fish crown

This festival was about a month ago now. We’ve been fishing since and caught a Coho that had been raised in the hatchery. We were invited to go back again by the fish surveyor where we were cleaning the fish to see how his life began.


As many of you know, I’m not much of a seafood eater but I appreciate that my family loves it and what we catch we eat. It’s fresh, local and affordable.

7 Responses to Smolt Festival

  1. vanessa says:

    okay this is so cool. We have a hatchery (Pyramid Lake) that I have toured and it is totally facinating- fish are pretty amazing, going back to where they were hatched based on smell (or their version of smell).

    I love the crowns the kids have on and what a neat way to get the community and kids involved in such an important part of the process.

    mmmmm, sushi!

  2. Jeanine Ertl says:

    I so appreciate the reverence with which your family lives with nature, life and love.

  3. Shannon says:

    Maya is looking over my shoulder as I am reading this. Looks like fun. We have a hatchery in Oona too. It’s always lots of fun releasing fish. Maya wants to know if your family wants to go in the craft fair with us this year. We are going to make soap and tea and jams with things we pick this summer and call it wild child preserves. I thought it would be something we could do for “school” this year, and thought your family might be interested in making things too!

  4. Annie says:

    Thanks Vanessa and Jeanine! ♥ ♥ ♥

    Shannon- No surprise here but I related your suggestion to Lily and she jumped up and down with a lot of excitement. I have some ideas too. I’ll give you a phone call….

  5. Erin says:

    It’s funny, i’m laughing here because I could have written that prior post about disliking seafood. My fish likes are: salmon, halibut, any other mild tasting swimming fish. My dislikes are everything else, and PLEASE don’t show me any raw fish designed to be “food”! I may collapse. Actually when Dh and I were dating, I ate sushi (!!!) to impress him! LOL. The truth came out sooner than later.

    I love everything else about fish and marine life of all kinds. Go figure. I just can’t eat 99% of it.

    Our two boys have enjoyed fish releases too. We do one each year at the back of the farm on our landowner’s side. It is the perfect ‘classroom’ for them, and we like the volunteer aspect too.

  6. Rosina says:

    Oh that looks like so much fun and I just love the fish crowns :) We have a hatchery nearby that we have visited but how neat that would be to be part of the release. Looks like you had a great time!

  7. jenny says:

    This reminds me that we should go check out our hatchery again soon. I bet the chum are running! What a fun festival! My kids would love it. Me, too :)

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