STEP Egg Distribution to local schools

Finally, after a wet and cold March, the 2nd batch of STEP program steelhead eggs were ready for distribution and delivered to 13 local classes on March 31, 2011.  The 1st delivery took place several weeks before to 14 classes in the Santa Cruz area.  A 3rd delivery is scheduled to 46 classes on April 18, 2011.

Hugh Miller and Matt McCaslin (STEP leader), spent many hours preparing for these events, including numerous meetings and completing the demanding paperwork required by the government agencies.  The coordination and administration required to raise and distribute eggs to approximately 60 schools in Santa Clara County alone is not trivial.  There is the challenge of estimating when the eggs will be ready, what schools are open and not on Spring break, and what volunteers are available to respond to changing delivery dates.  Hugh and his STEP associates are doing a great job, so please extend your thanks the next time you see him.

On March 31st, Dan Mendez (STEP teacher) and daughter Melissa picked up Hugh at 6:30AM and drove to the Monterey Bay Salmon & Trout Project hatchery in Davenport where they met Matt to “bag” the steelhead eggs.  The process involved placing 30 eggs into individual sandwich bags along with stream water and oxygen.  Thirteen bags were placed in an ice cooler and transported to a staging point in San Jose where the eggs were allocated to Dan, Shiz Nakawatase and Bob Shoberg along with their respective permits.  Bob was assigned Gilroy and Morgan Hill, Dan to the Santa Clara County School District, and I was assigned to the North East Bay.

The pictures involve the Warm Springs 3rd grade class of Donna Palmberg.  The 3rd graders were enthusiastic and full of questions, so we had a question and answer session ranging from topics about the steelhead, fly fishing, catch and release, etc.  It was fun and rewarding to interact with the 3rd graders.

Here's a comment from one of the teachers: 

Dear Shiz and John,

Thank you SO much, Shiz, for driving all the way up here. The children loved your visit. Happy hatching to you, too, John!

Donna Palmberg


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