Fishing is an extremely popular sport across the Upper Peninsula, and anglers are now catching everything from trout and salmon to walleye and blue gills out of area lakes and streams.
There's a local program, though, that aims to teach youngsters about putting fish back into the waterways - Salmon in the Classroom.
The program has been offered for several years by the Fred Waara Chapter of Trout Unlimited based in Marquette, with assistance from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
Salmon eggs supplied by the DNRE are delivered to classrooms in the fall and the young students begin caring for them with equipment supplied by the TU chapter. The students learn about fish as they follow the salmon through the stages of hatching and growing into fingerlings.
According to Bob Jensen of the local Trout Unlimited chapter, the students learn about the fish, their life cycle and - most importantly - conservation. In addition, the kids pick up a good lesson in responsibility as they care for and guide the young fish on their way to swimming wild in an area stream.
This year, students from Bothwell Middle School in Marquette, Eben's Superior Central School and Gilbert Elementary School in Gwinn participated.
Fish were released over the past few weeks into the Dead River and the Whitefish River, where they should flourish and hopefully be available to anglers in a few years.
Following the release the kids got to learn a little more about fish, as well, by getting in the streams and collecting and studying bugs - which are the main food source for young salmon.
Gilbert students even headed up to Harlow Lake after they released their fish to learn about fly casting, fly tying and take a nature hike.
The Salmon in the Classroom program has been a wonderful way to not only get youngsters interested in fish and conservation, but it might even inspire a few to work and recreate in the abundant outdoor offerings in the region.