The imminent release of Big Joe Trout

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 12.29.27 PMThe photo above shows the future home of Belvedere’s trout. Later this year, Miss Gump’s class will travel to Wildcat Hollow Run to release their beloved fish, including Big Joe. (If you stop by the classroom, you’ll know right away which one is Big Joe.) We can’t release the trout in local streams because the temperatures will be too warm by late spring. Trout need temps between 50F and 55F. During and after a rainstorm, our area’s hot roads and roofs heat the stormwater as it makes its way to storm drains, causing creek temperatures to climb well above what the trout can tolerate.

packet of trout eggs

All 200 eggs were in this little pouch. Brook trout have a high mortality rate (and our filter problems didn’t help), so only about 20 are still swimming in the tank.

hatching trout

The trout starting to hatch. The black lines in the eggs are the fish. When they first emerge, the egg sac stays attached; it’s what’s for breakfast (and lunch and dinner).

The students continue to monitor the water quality of their fish every day and change the water regularly. We’ve only had a couple of hiccups, such as when our filter suddenly stopped working. Parent Linda Lee saved the day, rushing into the classroom with a new filter. THANK YOU, LINDA!

That filter also stopped working, so we switched to a different model, one that hangs on the back of the tank. So far, so good.

Feel free to stop in and see the trout. The students love to show them off. Every morning and at dismissal, there’s a group of students who stop by to check on our fish.

checking on trout eggs

Students line up to peek at the trout. In this photo, they are still hatching in their nursery net.

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