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Trout in the classroom program

5 replies to this topic

#1 osburni

  • NANFA Member
  • Greenbrier Valley, West Virginia

Posted 05 February 2016 - 09:09 PM

I was wondering what the NANFA position is on this popular Trout Unlimited program, especially as it pertains to native brook trout.


What is Trout in the Classroom?

Trout (or Salmon) in the Classroom (TIC or SIC) offers students of all ages a chance to raise Salmonids in a classroom setting and then release them into a nearby stream or river.  Caring for the fish fosters a conservation ethic in the students, and the act of walking to a streambank and directly releasing the fingerlings into the water makes a concrete connection between caring for the fish and caring for the water.

4,000 schools releasing fish that have been kept in aquariums for up to a year.


Actually,I am well aware that the NANFA position is to never release a fish which has been kept in an aquarium 


Any thoughts?

#2 gerald

  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 05 February 2016 - 09:23 PM

Aquarium hobbyists often have fish from many places, and use the same siphons, buckets, etc on multiple tanks, so the chance of disease contamination is fairly high.  A trout tank set up in a classroom with all clean/dry equipment and used only for those fish poses a lower risk.  On the other hand, think of all the fish waste & guts (from all over the world) that gets washed down drains at restuarants, seafood stores, etc. 

Gerald Pottern
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel

#3 Irate Mormon

Irate Mormon
  • NANFA Member
  • Crooked Creek, Mississippi

Posted 05 February 2016 - 09:41 PM

I understand it's Trout Unlimited, but why Trout, particularly?  There are other fishes which would be easier to maintain, and equally, if not more, educational.

-The member currently known as Irate Mormon

#4 centrarchid

  • NANFA Guest

Posted 05 February 2016 - 09:53 PM

I think this should be looked at as a probability of success versus additional risk ratio.  Assuming schools targeted were blessed either with well water on tap or a low cost chiller unit, then they have a high probability of being able to not only keep the fish alive, they also have a good chance of seeing them grow.  I keep rainbow trout and so long as temperatures are good and water quality is properly managed they are easier to keep than most other natives I have experience with, especially if more than a few are kept.  The part is the business of disease release and genetic contamination for wild stocks the cultured fish are to be stocked on top of.  This is damage already done and deemed acceptable by most managing the resource.  Details of care and stocking would be interesting to know.

Find ways for people not already interested in natives to value them.

#5 Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips
  • NANFA Member
  • Allegheny River Drainage, Southwest PA

Posted 06 February 2016 - 08:36 PM

I think that this program can be beneficial at times, but no so much at others. For example, I fully support local schools (PA area in general) raising up Brook Trout to reintroduce in to streams that they were historically found but no longer are. I don't, on the other hand, support stocking Brook Trout where there is still a wild self-sustaining population. Nor do I support stocking rainbow or brown trout anywhere around here as they are not native, unless it is in a creek that historically had Brook Trout which is no longer healthy enough for them and Browns or Rainbows are capable of filling in the predatory niche that is necessary to support the health of that stream. Another part of this program that I do not support is stocking Pacific Salmonids (Steelhead, Chinook Salmon, and Coho Salmon) in the Great Lakes as they compete with native Lake Trout which they should be stocking instead as Lake Trout are already having a hard enough time reproducing with Thiamine defficiencies, predation on adults by Sea Lamprey, and predation on eggs and fry by Round Gobies, Rainbow Smelt, and Alewives. But that's a long and complex discussion for another thread.

So overall, I think that the program does a lot of good things for native species populations. But at the same time I don't agree with their stocking of non-native species, which I don't agree with ever.
Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage

#6 EBParks

  • Regional Rep

Posted 07 February 2016 - 07:14 PM

I understand it's Trout Unlimited, but why Trout, particularly?  There are other fishes which would be easier to maintain, and equally, if not more, educational.

I know the reason we use trout in our local TIC programs is for the following reasons...


-The trout eggs are already being produced in CA Fish and Wildlife hatcheries


-Local fly fishing clubs serve as school sponsors. So they want to promote healthy trout education and conservation.


-TIC serves as an educational program, not a population enhancement. So our park district only allows release of the trout into reservoirs that are already full of introduced gamefish and put-n-take hatchery trout. Essentially they become food for the lake, and the release is solely for the kids to experience letting them go. When I give my trout biology talk at the orientation workshop, I emphasize the need to tell kids that's it's not OK to release pets and other fish.


-The other conservation/education based activities that go along with the TIC program also focus on riperian habitat restoration and educating kids about the challenges of anadromous fishes

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Joshua Porter

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