Program Overview: Pennsylvania Trout in the Classroom (TIC) is an interdisciplinary program that introduces coldwater conservation education in Pennsylvania schools by raising brook trout, a native coldwater species, from eggs to fingerlings. The program helps to: Foster awareness of coldwater conservation in students grades 3–12 and; Encourage participation in coldwater resource projects and recreation programs.
PA TIC is made possible through a partnership between Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Environment and Ecology. The partnership provides: Technical assistance, website and teacher forum; Grant opportunities; Brook trout eggs and trout food; Curriculum, aquarium resources and workshops.
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MMI received 336 Brook Trout eggs and of that 336, 300 were viable. The program ended up with 167 live trout .
In the wild, trout can lay anywhere from 300 to 2000 eggs with less than 1% surviving. Our tank is a very controlled environment where the trout are forced to hatch earlier than they would in the wild. Even with the controlled conditions, a survival rate of 55.6% is impressive. Newly hatched trout are called Alevin.
Trout that have progressed past the Alevin stage are called Fry. This photo was taken at about 8 weeks. The average size is 1/2 to 3/4 inches or 1 to 2.5 cm. Trout of less than one year are called Parr, the dark marks on the side will disappear as the trout develop.
Students are studying the respiration, muscle development and circulatory system of these trout. They are also learning about water quality, water changes and water temperature as well as the behavior of trout in these various stages. This program is a cross-grade and cross-curriculum program where students in the 6-12th grades are learning something about the trout.
The Pennsylvania Chapter of Trout Unlimited will visit with students to provide further information on conservation and trout life-cycle. You can read more about the Trout in the Classroom project at http://www.patrout.org/misc-pages/current-newsletter on the PA Trout Unlimited website http://www.patrout.org.
Below are pictures of what the trout looked like as of early May 2017. They will be released into the Nescopeck Creek in the next few weeks.