This spring, hundreds of young rainbow trout were released by students throughout Plumas, Sierra, Lassen and Yuba Counties who took part in Trout in the Classroom, a program of Feather River Trout Unlimited (FRTU).
Twenty participating classes were provided with an aquarium set-up that included a chiller to keep the water cold; a critical element for trout. They received a bundle of tiny trout eggs in early April and learned the importance of monitoring temperature in their new-found role as tank stewards. The small trout, called fry, were released in waters approved by the California Department and Fish and Wildlife. This year, participants raised triploids which are sterile fish that cannot reproduce and do not pose a genetic impact to native fish populations.
In addition to witnessing a trout’s life cycle, dedicated educators capitalized on a myriad of learning opportunities to make the most of their 4-6 week trout rearing experience. Some learned to tie wooly buggers (an imitation of an aquatic insect), others enjoyed searching for aquatic insects in their nearby creek to learn about a trout’s food chain. Some teachers showed their students how to conduct water quality tests such as pH, dissolved oxygen, and ammonia while others integrated art into their curriculum by creating colorful fish prints, a Japanese art form know as Gyotaku, on t-shirts.
FRTU is proud to offer this program to area teachers and appreciates the many generous organizations that helped to make this year one of our best yet. This growing list includes: Plumas and Sierra Fish and Game Commissions, Common Good Foundation, Ranz Foundation, Grizzly Ranch Conservancy, Downieville Lions Club, Sierra Buttes Snowbusters, Yuba County Water Agency, Camptonville Community Partnership and the Camptonville School Parents Club and E.C. Powell Fly Fishers Club. We could not offer this program without your support. Thank you!