Lessons in Water Quality

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About 25 honors biology students from St. Maries High School got to work in the field last week.

The sophomores spent a day on Benewah Creek studying water quality. With the help of staff from the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Fisheries program, students compared a restored area of the creek to an un-restored portion.

Jon Firehammer, a research monitoring and evaluation specialist with the Coeur d'Alene Tribal fisheries program, works with Maddie Dittman, Kaylene Peet, Toni Eells and Jaidyn Reynolds.

Jon Firehammer, a research monitoring and evaluation specialist with the Coeur d’Alene Tribal fisheries program, works with Maddie Dittman, Kaylene Peet, Toni Eells and Jaidyn Reynolds.

Students also helped with electro-shocking of fish and participated in a dissection lab with brook trout. A tribal elder, also shared the history of Benewah Creek and its importance to the Coeur d’Alene Tribe.

The field trip is the first of four the class will take as part of the Confluence Project run by the University of Idaho. The program is a field-based science education curriculum. St. Maries students will meet with others in the region for a biology conference to conclude their year’s participation. At the conference students will identify a problem they’ve discovered in their own watersheds and present a plan of action for a resolution.

This is the school’s second year involved in the program.

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