South Shore's Outing to Wallace Falls and Salmon Hatchery

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Team:
South Shore K-8
Date:
Saturday, November 7, 2015
Trip Types:
Educational, Fishing / Shellfishing, Hiking, Other
Photos:
Plan:
We are going to have fun and educational day of hiking and touring a fish hatchery (so the kids can learn all about salmon). In the morning we will do a short hike to the middle falls on the Wallace Falls trail. After lunch we will get a guided tour of the fish hatchery.

HIKE: http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/wallace-falls

Wallace River Fish Hatchery in Sultan.
Report:
The first weekend of November and a 100% forecast for rain may not sound like a good time to go hiking, but the South Shore 5th & 6th graders had a great time and even learned a few things about salmon.

Wallace Falls is a great shoulder season hike that works well rain or shine. It is a popular hike and one that I would actually not recommend during summer. It was a grey, rainy November day and the parking lot was still half full. I think it would be crazy busy on a sunny day.

Combining the hike with a visit to the nearby Wallace River Fish Hatchery makes for a good trip. We went hiking in the morning and then visited the salmon hatchery in the afternoon.

The hike is easy, but does get a little steep near the end. A few of the kids struggled with the hike, but it is well within the abilities of 5th & 6th graders. The hike was a little under 5 miles round-trip. We hiked to the lower falls and had lunch at the shelter there. After lunch we hiked to the middle falls viewpoint, which was only another 0.3 miles. With all the rain the rivers were swollen and the waterfalls were spectacular.

The hatchery tour is not long, less than an hour. The guide lets the kids handle salmon then they cut them open and explain the biology of a salmon. Good gross fun that all the kids enjoyed it. There is a quick tour of the hatchery facility where the kids get to see what a salmon looks like right after it hatches. The tour ends with the kids getting to feed older salmon in the outdoor ponds, which was very popular.

=== Timeline ===

7:30am ICO volunteers and South Shore teacher meet for coffee to discuss the day’s plan

8:30am Meet the kids at the school

9:15am Leave South Shore for Wallace Falls

12:15pm Lunch at Lower Falls picnic shelter

2:00pm Return to vans and drive to salmon hatchery

2:15pm Start Wallace River Salmon Hatchery tour.

3:30pm End tour load vans for drive back to Seattle

5:00pm Return to South Shore
Suggestions:
We brought smoked salmon, which we shared with the kids at the beginning of the hike, at the middle falls lookout, and at the salmon hatchery. It was a great way to get the kids to relate in a direct way that they benefit from of all the things we were telling them about salmon habitat, salmon in the ecosystem, the importance of the fish hatcheries.

Wallace Falls is a State Park:
http://www.parks.state.wa.us/

So you will need a Discover Pass for the parking lot:
http://discoverpass.wa.gov/

Be sure to call the hatchery at least a week in advance to schedule the tour:
Wallace River Hatchery, (360) 793-1382
http://wdfw.wa.gov/hatcheries/facilities.php

Photos

At the start of the Wallace Falls hike there is a sign with a stanza from the poem The Tables Turned by William Wordsworth.  Nice spot for a group photo.

Sat., Nov. 7, 2015

[South Shore] Wallace Falls and Salmon Hatchery

It rained the whole hike, but most of the trail is through thick forest so we got some protection from the rain from the tree canopy.

Sat., Nov. 7, 2015

[South Shore] Wallace Falls and Salmon Hatchery

The first of five bridges we crossed on the Wallace Falls trail.

Sat., Nov. 7, 2015

[South Shore] Wallace Falls and Salmon Hatchery

The second of five bridges we crossed on the Wallace Falls trail.

Sat., Nov. 7, 2015

[South Shore] Wallace Falls and Salmon Hatchery

At the lower falls is a covered picnic area where we ate lunch out of the rain.

Sat., Nov. 7, 2015

[South Shore] Wallace Falls and Salmon Hatchery

The view point at the middle falls.

Sat., Nov. 7, 2015

[South Shore] Wallace Falls and Salmon Hatchery

The middle falls at Wallace Falls park.  With all the rain the falls were spectacular.

Sat., Nov. 7, 2015

[South Shore] Wallace Falls and Salmon Hatchery

We brought smoked salmon for the kids to try.  It was a great way to tie together all the talk about salmon habitat and the tour of the salmon hatchery.

Sat., Nov. 7, 2015

[South Shore] Wallace Falls and Salmon Hatchery

The tour of the salmon hatchery was very hands on.  The guide brought out some dead salmon and let all the kids hold them.

Sat., Nov. 7, 2015

[South Shore] Wallace Falls and Salmon Hatchery

Hands on education at the fish hatchery.

Sat., Nov. 7, 2015

[South Shore] Wallace Falls and Salmon Hatchery

Hands-on education.

Sat., Nov. 7, 2015

[South Shore] Wallace Falls and Salmon Hatchery

Our guide dissects the salmon for a quick biology lesson.

Sat., Nov. 7, 2015

[South Shore] Wallace Falls and Salmon Hatchery

Inside the hatchery the kids are show salmon recently hatched from their eggs.

Sat., Nov. 7, 2015

[South Shore] Wallace Falls and Salmon Hatchery

The trays where salmon eggs are hatched.

Sat., Nov. 7, 2015

[South Shore] Wallace Falls and Salmon Hatchery

The tour ends at the ponds with juvenile salmon where the kids get to feed the salmon, a highlight of the tour.

Sat., Nov. 7, 2015

[South Shore] Wallace Falls and Salmon Hatchery

Everyone gets a chance to feed the juvenile salmon.

Sat., Nov. 7, 2015

[South Shore] Wallace Falls and Salmon Hatchery