living classroom: releasing shad

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    Students throughout the Washington D.C. region will be helping return American shad to the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. Since 1996, over 50 schools from Washington D.C., Alexandria, Fairfax, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties have raised American shad in their schools and released them at sites below Great Falls, at Leesylvania State Park, and in the upper Anacostia River. The fish swim over 12,000 miles in their lifetime, leaving their release site in the Potomac River to swim out to sea and then returning to where they were born to lay their own eggs. Thanks in part to these students’ efforts, American shad are returning to the Potomac River in increasing numbers. In addition to raising and releasing shad, students are cleaning up their schoolyards and area streams to improve the waterways for their returning fish.


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