I’ve heard of schools of fish, but never fish in school…
Every Spring, volunteers from Kaweah Flyfishers assist classrooms of 3rd-to-7th graders with their “Trout in the Classroom” curriculum. California Department of Fish and Wildlife provides trout eggs, which we deliver to participating schools, as well as help teachers set up the temperature-controlled tanks to hatch the trout eggs and raise them until they are able to be released into the wild.
Through this program, students learn about embryology, vertebrate development, fish behavior and water quality as the trout eggs hatch and then grow. Since the tanks are in the classrooms, they get to be involved with the fish on a daily basis.
Once the trout fry are ready for release, students take a field trip to River Ridge Ranch, which is nestled in the Sierra foothills near Springville. They release the trout fry into the North Fork of the Tule River, then spend the rest of the day at River Ridge Ranch, learning about water ecology including watershed structure and function, river ecology, as well as water conservation and sustainable landscapes.
Visit River Ridge Institute’s Trout in the Classroom page – There’s a great video on their site that you can view to learn more about this valuable program that impacts children in Tulare County.
You can learn more about the Trout in the Classroom program by also visiting Trout Unlimited’s Trout in the Classroom page, which has specific information about equipment as well as lesson plans.
In 2006, a record-breaking year for “Trout in the Classroom” participation, 31 Kaweah Flyfishers logged 721 volunteer hours, 147 volunteer days and 4344 miles driven to deliver eggs, visit classes, help with field trips, prepare equipment, schedule field trips and develop worksheets so that 45 classes of students- 1174 students total- could learn about the world in which they live.