TROUT IN THE CLASSROOM
Thanks to partnering sponsors, Cameron County Conservation District and Cameron County Outdoor Youth Activities - Trout in the Classroom program is alive and well at the Woodland Elementary School Third grade classrooms. The Pennsylvania Trout in the Classroom program transitioned to Rainbow Trout eggs instead of Brook Trout eggs in 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. When the eggs arrived, they were put in special nests called Redd’s for a few weeks, where they turned into fry and released into the 55-gallon aquariums where the students will care for them. Later this spring the student’s will release the small rainbow trout into the Driftwood Branch of the Sinnemahoning. “We have been doing Trout in the Classroom now for several years and TIC is a great opportunity for young students to learn importance of water quality and cold water conservation at an early age” says Don Bickford of CCOYA “We are grateful that our School Districts allows us to participate in the TIC program and grateful that teachers in all three classrooms are willing to maintain the aquariums.” Third Grade teachers, Carol Wilson, Michal Jones and Brian Lovett’s classrooms all participate in the TIC program and have the aquariums in their classrooms. During the school year Students learn about fish anatomy, history of 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, The Cameron County Family Center 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.