3RD GRADE TROUT IN THE CLASSROOM PROGRAM
Updated: Jan 7, 2020
Thanks to partnering sponsors Cameron County Conservation District and Cameron County Outdoor Youth Activities Trout in the Classroom is once again in full swing in the Woodland Elementary School Third grade classrooms. The eggs were put in special nests called Redd’s for a few weeks, where they have turned into fry and released into the 55 gallon aquariums where the students will care for them until spring. In the spring the students will remove the fry and stock them into East Cowley Run, a Pennsylvania approved trout stream. “This is a great hands on program that teaches students to care about fish, and at the same time learn about water quality and cold water conservation at an early age” says Don Bickford of CCOYA, one of the local organizations involved. Third Grade teachers, Carol Wilson and Michal Jones classrooms both participate in the TIC program. Bickford goes on to say “Trout serve as a real-life example of the relationship between humans and the environment. Trout in the Classroom is a good program to get kids involved. They’ll never remember a worksheet, but they’ll think about the actions they take.” The Pennsylvania Trout in the Classroom program is transitioning to Rainbow Trout eggs instead of Brook Trout eggs for the 2019-2020 school years. The change in trout eggs being provided is part of a proactive approach to decrease stocking of hatchery Brook Trout statewide. This approach is part of an ongoing management strategy the agency is implementing to minimize conflicts between hatchery Brook Trout and PA’s Wild Brook Trout populations. Implementation of the approach began within the hatchery system of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), then rolled out to PFBC’s Cooperative Nursery Program and is now keying in to the TIC program. The management strategy is an important effort to continue the enhancement and protection of PA’s Wild Brook Trout populations and their coldwater environs from threats such as: Pathogens/parasites, such as Gill Lice (Salmincola edwardsii) for which Brook Trout are “hosts/vectors”. Gill Lice are a current and real issue for PA’s Wild Brook Trout populations. During the school year Students learn about fish anatomy, history in rainbow trout in Pennsylvania and the life cycle of a rainbow Trout.. Trout in the Classroom program is made possible through a unique partnership between Pa. Fish and Boat Commission and Pa. Council of Trout Unlimited. This partnership, coupled with the assistance from local conservation minded organizations, was created to introduce Pennsylvania students to cold water resources and their importance to all communities. Local organizations that are committed to supporting the TIC program are CCOYA, Cameron County Conservation District and the Jim Zwald Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Together these partnerships provide rainbow trout eggs, trout food, technical assistance, curriculum connections and teacher workshops each year.