Trout in the Classroom Program
3/14/17 – Update
3/8/17 – Update
Our first trout release of the school year was a success! Fifth grade students from Quantum Academy of Escondido started the day by taking a fieldtrip to the Elfin Forest Recreation Reserve to participate in our Watersheds curriculum. They picked up litter, hiked, conducted science experiments to learn about groundwater and runoff, looked at aquatic insects under the microscope, and tested the creek’s water quality to see how it compares to the water quality of their classroom aquariums. Afterwards they headed down to Miramar Lake for the trout release.
The San Diego Union-Tribune was present to document the event: www.sandiegouniontribune.com/
2/13/17 – Update
The Trout in the Classroom program is going swimmingly! The teachers received the eggs on January 20 and they hatched shortly after that. The next stage in their life cycle is called the alevin stage, where they feed off of a yolk sac. When the yolk sac is gone they become fry (now you know where the term “small fry” comes from). As fry, the students must begin feeding them. They’ll be released at the 7-8 week point at Miramar Lake.
The program has already been getting a bit of buzz, and was recently featured in the San Diego Union Tribune. Check it (tr)out: Trout in Classroom, San Diego Union Tribune article
TECC is providing support for eight aquariums in several local schools: Conway Elementary, Quantum Academy, and High Tech Elementary, High Tech Middle, and High Tech High (North County campus locations). Much of the funding for the Escondido Creek chapter of the Trout in the Classroom program was made possible by an Environmental Champions grant from SDG&E. California Department of Fish & Wildlife regulates and administers this wonderful program.
1/31/17 – Update
The trout eggs are hatching!
Video courtesy teacher Lana Jones.
1/27/16 – Update
1/20/17 – Update
The trout eggs were delivered to the classrooms!
12/19/16 – Update
The aquariums are being set up in the schools.
TECC Brings the Trout in the Classroom Program to North County!
You’d be surprised what you can learn from a fish.
As part of our Education Strategic Plan’s goal to foster stewardship, we had a mandate to provide local schools with a real-world environmental project. When we asked schools if they would be interested in a Trout in the Classroom program, they were hooked.
This is a highly engaging program where K-12 students raise trout from eggs to fry. (No, they are not going to fry the trout! “Fry” is the technical term for a juvenile fish.) As students care for the fish, they come to realize the importance of clean water and healthy ecosystems. When the fish are old enough, the students release them in an approved lake.
Thanks to a generous grant through SDG&E’s Environmental Champions initiative, TECC will be sponsoring the program in three local schools. The grant provides funding for all the equipment, and it also covers the transportation cost for the participating schools to take fieldtrips to the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve and experience our Watersheds curriculum. After completing the program, students will have a clear understanding of watersheds, water quality, and civic engagement.
Steelhead trout were once abundant in southern California, but their populations have plummeted due to urban development, dams, and degraded water quality conditions. TECC has a dream to one day repopulate Escondido Creek with steelhead, but for that to happen, the water quality of the creek needs to improve to levels that can support this sensitive species. We are confident this next generation of stewards will help make our dream a reality.