Last week, Ms. Gump’s K/1 class got to ride a big red bus out to Markham, VA, to release the 42 trout they’ve been raising this year. The Northern Virginia Association of Trout Unlimited, through its Trout in the Classroom watershed education program, provided the class with a tiny packet of 200 eggs in the fall and the class has been carefully taking care of the fry since. Maintenance includes squeegeeing the tank on humid days and testing the water’s pH, nitrate, nitrite and ammonia levels every day.
The trip was especially victorious for two reasons: 1) Last year’s heart-breaking and inexplicable death of our trout just weeks before the scheduled release, and 2) One student had a broken leg and was on crutches. We took a wagon so she could be pulled along the dirt trails and backed into the stream to free a few fish. To the left is a picture she drew afterward of herself on crutches, holding her mom’s hand and letting go of the trout. Her write-up about the trip is below. Trout Unlimited member George Paine (one of our NVATU heroes!) also brought stream monitoring equipment so students could net water insects and identify them. More photos are below.
This program is supported by the 2015 Virginia Wildlife eStore (www.ShopDGIF.com) Grant Program through a partnership between the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia. THANK YOU for funding our big red bus!
We’d also like to thank the Dominion K12 Educational Partnership for supporting our trout-raising program.