TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Toledo Public School students have been raising baby fish from the declining Northern Pike population to restore the wetlands of Lake Erie and the species that live there.
From tiny fingerlings to five-inch long baby Northern Pikes, students gave great care in making sure the fish had an ideal environment to grow.
"We kept an eye on the different levels such as the pH, which is the acidity and basic level the temperature, simple things similar to that to make sure they are in the range for the Northern Pike," said Damien Cunningham-Wagner, a Junior at the Toledo Natural Science Technology Center.
One hundred and fifty Northern Pike fingerlings will take a road strip to the Standing Rush Marsh, a privately owned wetland that makes an idle nursery for the baby fish.
"We wanted to find a species that was unique and unique to the habitat that I'm working in," said Eric Kraus, President of Standing Rush, LLS.
The students spent three months carefully raising the Northern Pike fingerlings and on Tuesday, they took them to their new home along Lake Erie.
"Something small can really change a thing, especially with this amount of introduction to the ecosystem it will definitely boost it, well that's the hope," Cunningham-Wagner said.
The odds of all 150 of the five-inch fish surviving is low, but some will certainly survive.
"A very small percentage, single digit percentage will make it to adulthood," Kraus said, "But those fish can then have the protection of the marsh until they're large enough to go out into the lake and then come back to the marsh to spawn once they're adults."
The students said this project has given them a lot of pride in restoring the wet lands of the Western Lake Erie Basin, and will be giving new life to our great lake.