Grand Valley agriculture and the regional economy rely heavily on the Colorado River, as do the organisms that inhabit its waters. In response to drought and other challenges to this vital river habitat, Palisade High School (PHS) aims to establish a fish hatchery on the school grounds focused on supporting the endangered fish of the Colorado River.
PHS plans to turn one of their storage buildings into a fish hatchery. It will consist of three 230-gallon tanks that can each stock approximately 150 endangered fish (starting with razorback sucker fry and a number of other endangered species). Once the fish mature, they will be released into the nearby Colorado River.
PHS students will have the opportunity to take classes that draw upon the PHS Fish Hatchery project as a learning resource, while receiving high school academic credit in classes such as River Dynamics, Chemistry, Biology, Environmental Science, Math and Literacy.
In addition to increasing the population of endangered species of fish in the Colorado River, the hatchery will offer students in all disciplines a unique hands-on experience. Students will measure the fish, analyze their habitat and food-to-growth ratios, learn about life cycles, and draw inspiration from the hatchery for writing assignments.
The PHS Hatchery experience will also provide this Colorado River community with a source of pride as they pursue this innovative opportunity together. This cooperation between diverse organizations, including the school district, water boards, and several other entities and government agencies could set an important example to benefit other communities looking to create change. Alpine Bank is a proud supporter and sponsor of the new Palisade High School Fish Hatchery.