Students study Razorback Suckers |

Students study Razorback Suckers

Kelly Foster’s fourth-grade class at Bea Underwood Elementary School is raising fish for the Colorado Department of Wildlife. The class has been raising Razorback Suckers since September in their classroom. The project was started because these fish are endangered. Stan Johnson, the education director for the DOW, asked the federal government if it would be possible for students to raise the fish in classrooms. After several uphill battles with the government, an agreement was reached. It was agreed to permit 10 tanks, each tank raising six fish. All the tanks stayed on the Western Slope because these fish live in the Colorado River Basin (Glenwood Springs to Lake Powell). The students have been raising the fish for eight months. They will pit tag each fish (place a computer chip under the skin in order to track the movement of the fish), weigh them, and finally release them at the end of the school year. This project was undertaken to increase the population of the Razorback Sucker back to a healthy number.Ms. Foster and her students will be releasing the fish on May 19 at the Connected Lakes in Grand Junction. In addition to the responsibilities listed above, the students have been feeding the fish daily, testing the pH value, and monitoring ammonia levels. They were responsible for keeping daily logbooks to make sure all the levels in the water were satisfactory and decided what procedures to undertake if the water became toxic. If the levels became toxic, new water would have to replace the old water in the tank. The students were also responsible for changing the filters and adding water. The students did an excellent job because none of the fish died; three fish were replaced due to some deformed backbones.This was a great educational opportunity for these kids, and to assume this responsibility for the entire school year is a testament to a dedicated teacher. Thank you, Ms. Foster, and students for a job well done.Chamber dinnerThe annual Chamber of Commerce recognition dinner was Saturday, April 29, at the activity center. The tickets were completely sold out a week before the event. The decorations were fantastic, the dinner exceptional, and the live and silent auctions sensational. Special thanks to the committee for all their hard work: Cyndie Penland, Teresa Snyder, Michelle Foster, Margaret Cooke, Rose Cose, Mary Anderson and Jason Fletcher.Congratulations to the following award recipients: outstanding volunteer, Alberta Allesandro; outstanding service organization, Meals on Wheels; outstanding business, Easy Cuisine; and outstanding person, Tom Beard.Keep on truckin’The annual Touch a Truck is just around the corner, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 3, at the activity center. Mark your calendar – this is a great event for the entire family.Mary Moore’s column, “Grand Valley News” appears every other Thursday. To contact Mary with a news tip, e-mail

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