Students Raise, Release Trout Through Water Quality/Conservation Program


Wednesday, March 11th 2020, 9:50 am
By: Tess Maune


Some northeastern Oklahoma students have spent the past 6 months getting a hands-on opportunity to learn about water quality and conservation through the Trout in the Classroom program.               

On Tuesday about 70 Catoosa High School students traveled to Gore where they released 100 trout fingerlings into the Lower Illinois River.               

The students have been raising the trout in their classroom since October.

They set up the water tank and monitored the water quality daily, raising the trout from eggs to fingerlings. The students studied stream habitat, water resources and how different ecosystems work.

“It's a little, miniature ecosystem in itself that they can gain an appreciation about how difficult it is for our hatcheries and our people to maintain our water quality here, so people can come out an enjoy our lakes and streams,” said Catoosa teacher Hagar McClain.               

The long-term goal of the program is to get more kids interested and involved with our streams, rivers and the watersheds that sustain them.               

“We come out here to let the kids gain an appreciation for being out in nature. To learn something about the water quality and the fish and the wildlife and the invertebrate and crustaceans that the fish mainly eat,” McClain said.

The students said they've learned raising fish takes a lot of work and that water quality is vital to a trout’s survival.

“Trout are an indicator species and if you don't have good, clean, cold water trout won't survive well, so this is to teach kids a conservation message about water,” said Scott Hood, Trout Unlimited Youth Education Coordinator.

Trout Unlimited has offered the Trout in the Classroom program to schools in the Tulsa area for 9 years.

12 Oklahoma schools are part of this year’s program, which is sponsored by Williams.

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