Fish, Dams, and Electricity Interconnected at Bonneville

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Our trip to Bonneville on Wednesday went very smoothly and was a great learning experience for everybody. The class came back with a better understanding of why Bonneville Dam exists and the benefits it provides, as well as an appreciation of some of the drawbacks of dams in general. Some students got to see the fish hatchery section in progress, almost everybody got to feed the rainbow trout, and we even had time to stop by Oregon’s most visited tourist spot, Multnomah Falls. The weather cooperated magnificently, waiting until we were on our way home to start raining.
Special thanks go to all the parents who went along on the trip! Thank you Alea, Art, Tina, Jack, Lesley, James, Monica, Rob, and Jerry!

Here’s what the kids saw, did, and learned.

Today we went to Bonneville Dam and we got to go to the power house. There they showed us how the turbines work and how water is used to make electricity. Then we drove down the historical Columbia highway and went to Multnomah Falls. We also went to the Bonneville Fish Hatchery and got to feed the fish and see a huge sturgeon named Herman. The ranger talked about WWII and told us that on top of the power house there used to be a gun and smoke screens because they were afraid of being bombed. They also had guards and pill boxes. When we got there a lady came on the bus to inspect it. Inside there was a fish watching room, it was a glass wall were you could see into the fish ladder and we saw five fish. By Nate

My class went to the Bonneville Dam and Fish Hatchery to learn about how electricity is made. We saw a fish ladder and the inside of the first power house. We saw the life cycle of the salmon. We also found out that in WWII, the power house would be a target to bomb. So they put a machine gun in the power house. They also had guards and smoke because they were worried the power house would get bombed. Luckily, it never did. At the fish hatchery, we got to feed the fish. By Hayden

I saw a turbine at Bonneville Dam. I learned about power lines, transformers, and how turbines make electricity. I learned how turbines spin, how transformers work, and how magnetic fields with the copper wire make electricity. I also learned how 50,000 houses get covered by one generator and the coil is put one inch away from the magnets, and that electricity can light a light bulb. That it is also heat and that a generator can produce 50,000 volts and can power lots of stuff in your house. by Alex

On Wednesday my class went to the Bonneville Dam. There we passed Multnomah Falls. In one hour we made it there.We start at the fish hatchery and I got to feed them fish food.Then we went to the power plant and the power house. By Tyler

Today I went to Bonneville. I got to learn and have fun. Some of the things I got to learn is that they have ten turbines but they don’t have all of them turned on or else things like radio towers will blow up. They also have four rules that they need to follow, they need to always need to produce electricity, make as many fish as they can live, and I forgot the rest. Bonneville raises fish to help to make fish not become extinct. Of course the bus ride was like three weeks long to get there it was still really fun. Overall from one out of ten it was way over ten.
I liked Bonneville Dam. I enjoyed feeding the fish, holding the block of concrete, seeing Herman the Sturgeon, riding the bus and more! I liked going to Multnomah Falls also. By Tanner

What I liked about going to Bonneville Dam was when we went to see the baby salmon because there was thousands of fish and I liked it when we went to see them dump out all the fish eggs out of the dead mom’s body and I thought it was funny when the dad squirted milk all over the fish table and I liked it when we went to the sturgeon and I liked it when we went to go see the trout. By Austin

When we went to Bonneville Dam it was funner then I thought. There was a lot of fish espeshly big fish. The fish ladder looked different in my vision then in really does. It was so fun that I could’t chose what the best part was. That field trip was the best field trip ever! By Aubrey

Last weak we went to Bonneville Dam and Fish Hatchery. My group went to the Fish Hatchery first. At the Fish Hatchery we got to feed some fish, we got to look at huge sturgeon, and go into a room were we got to learn about fish and for a extra bonus we got to watch them spawning the fish. It was kind of gross at first but then I got used to it. Then we went to Bonneville Dam. We got to see the fish ladders, and we got to learn about how the Bonneville Dam makes electricity. The lady called on me to be the magnet. Then she told us that the magnet spins and anything that is metal flies onto the magnet since the magnet is super strong. Then we went to the power house. Inside we got to see all the tools and machines they used. We even got to see old old pictures of what Bonneville Dam used to looked like. On the way back we stopped at Multnomah Falls. We go to see the waterfall. It was so big and strong I could even feel water splashing on my face. I had a great time! By Makena

Bonneville dam/fish hatchery was awesome! I got to see them cut open salmon and get all the salmon eggs out! There was a cool fish ladder at the dam so fish could get from one side to another. I was the only person in my group. By Rylan

I liked the fish hatchery because we got to see the big sturgeon and the salmon. I also liked to see the water fall up at Multnomah Falls.  By Nora

On Wednesday we went to Bonneville Fish Hatchery and Dam. My favorite part at the fish hatchery was Herman the Sturgeon. He was 70 years old. My favorite thing at the dam was going downstairs to see all the fish go by. I counted 3 fish. I also liked seeing how many eggs that salmon lay at one time. Overall my favorite place was the fish hatchery. By Elliot

Bonneville was awesome ! My favorite part was the fish hatchery when we saw a lot of salmon. I liked the salmon because they had a lot of pretty colors. When we were done we went to Multnomah Falls. I had a great time. By Veronica

Today we went to the Bonneville Fish Hatchery! I liked feeding the fish and seeing Herman the Sturgeon. I could not believe how big he was! My dad taught me that they don’t have bones, they have cartilage (the term for that is cartilaginous.) At Bonneville Dam I liked seeing under the fish ladder and seeing the part of the old turbine. Overall I really liked this field trip. By Zoë

Today was really fun because we got to go the Bonneville Dam. We got to see some salmon. All of us got to feed the rainbow trout. There we went to a place and we got to see Herman the Sturgeon. We got to see the fish ladder. Even though we did not see any fish jumping it was still really cool. We also got to see one of the houses that people in World War Two used for protection. On the way back we stopped at Multnomah Falls. Me, Stella, and Olivia kept singing, “please!” so we could get fudge. It did not work. By Mariah

Today we went to Bonneville Dam. My favorite part was when we got to go under the fish ladder, but we really did not really go under water.The fish hatchery was fun because we got to feed the fish. My other favorite part was seeing the white sturgeon at the viewing center. My third favorite part was learning about the high voltage of the powerhouse. I got to hold the flashlight and make it light up. The flashlight had a magnet and some wire inside it that made it glow. By Tre

Today we went to Bonneville. It was the first field trip we’ve done this year. It was at two different places, the Fish Hatchery, and the places that the fish swim through. At the Fish Hatchery we got to feed the fish in their ponds. They like to eat weird fish food. We also got to see a sturgeon named Herman the Sturgeon. He was gigantic, he was 10.ft long and I don’t know how wide he was but I’m just going to guess, I think he’s about 2 ft. wide. He was cool. We had a lot of fun today. By Stella

Today we went to Bonneville Dam, it was really fun for me because, well, I do not know where to start, so I guess I will start by saying that I learned a lot about about salmon and their life cycle and I saw some awesome stuff and I will describe the trout, they had red on their bellies and they had a lip that went over their mouth and they had spots on them.I learned that fish get killed by turbines. I also learned how electricity gets to my house! By Joey

Bonneville Dam was very fun. I learned about sturgeon, the fish hatchery, power house, electricity, and most of all salmon. I saw a whole lot of salmon. I saw fry and adults. I saw the power house. I saw a big grey thing that said ixl. I saw a picture of a sea lion in the fish ladder. By Payton

I loved the trip to Bonneville. It was so fun. We got to see the inside of the power house. We saw the turbine,the magnet, and the copper plates, that all connected to make electricity. It was cool seeing the fish ladders that the fish go up to get to the streams. I learned that the Bonneville Dam was built in the Great Depression. A park ranger told us about the history of Bonneville. After that we got to go to the Fish Hatchery and we got to feed the fish. There were all different kinds of fish. We saw rainbow trout, we saw salmon, and a big sturgeon fish, named Herman. Overall I thought it was a great field trip. By Leah

Today we went to Bonneville Dam. It was so fun because we got to learn about the historical things about a long time ago when lots of people did not have jobs. That was called the Great Depression and we learned about World War II when there were lots of guards because the people who worked there were scared that airplanes might drop bombs. That’s why there where a lot of guards, but that is not all. We went to the Fish Hatchery. It was so fun because we got to feed the fish. They where so cute I can’t stand it. They were jumping and all that stuff. It was so fun, but we had to leave so soon. We went to Multnomah Falls. I hope we can do that again. By Olivia

November 7, 2012  Today we went to the Bonneville Dam andFish Hatchery and Multnomah Falls.  When we got to the dam the US Army park ranger showed us how eletricity gets to our houses, then he showed us how the dam gets in April and May, then he showed us the fish ladder. By Kohl

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About Mr. Colvin

I'm a retired elementary teacher (classroom and music) who taught at Lewis and Woodmere elementary schools in SE Portland. I like to teach, play guitar, take photos, and ride my bike.
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