Third grade students at Poland Central School released trout into Cold Brook Creek on Thursday afternoon.
Third grade teacher Tracy Graulich said the students had raised the trout in a classroom aquarium since October, when they were brown eggs. “It’s really important that the kids understand the life cycle of trout, as well as embrace the environment and foster conservation from an early age. This way they will appreciate the importance of the environment in the future,” she said.
Graulich added the students had a hands-on learning opportunity working with the trout.
“I look at the environment as a classroom without walls,” she said.
Once the students released the trout into the creek they searched for and identified insects, the trout’s natural food source. Graulich said it is instinctive for the fish to find and eat insects.
“In the classroom the fish were given food and learned how to eat without searching, but because it’s instinctive they won’t have a problem hunting for insects once they’re released,” she said.
The trout will remain in Cold Brook Creek by the school where they will grow and reproduce.
Mohawk Valley Trout Unlimited Classroom Coordinator Bob Fields worked with the third-graders throughout the trouts’ life cycle. He said the students learned a number of subjects while working with the trout. “The students learned science, math, genetics and communication skills, as well as environmental knowledge such as the testing of water quality,” said Fields.
The Trout in the Classroom program is sponsored by Mohawk Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
Fields said while there is a fee for the program, it should not discourage any school district from applying for the program. “If a district cannot afford the program, we can get them funding,” he said. “Money shouldn’t be an issue. The kids really enjoy working with the trout.”
For more information regarding the Mohawk Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited and how to apply for the Trout in the Classroom program, visit www.tumohawkvalley.org.