San Diego County, California

Trout in the Classroom Program

6/14/2018 – We would like to thank all of the students, teachers, and volunteers who helped make this school year’s Trout in the Classroom program a success! We had seven schools participate in the program this year, including three returning schools (Conway Elementary, High Tech High – North County, and Quantum Academy) and four new schools (Epiphany Prep Charter School, Lincoln Elementary, Rock Springs Elementary, and Rose Elementary). A total of 545 students were able to get the amazing experience of raising and releasing rainbow trout, all while learning about water quality and watershed health. Thank you to SDG&E for funding our program for the last two school years, and to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for making this program possible!
Check out the webpage that Conway Elementary created about their 4th grade experience this year:

6/15/17 – TECC attended Conway Elementary’s first annual “Celebration of Learning” event. We had such a wonderful experience investigating nature with Conway 3rd and 4th graders this school year, and to see them tie together everything they learned throughout the year was amazing. Following is a video presented by the 4th graders at the event.

GREAT JOB, Conway students!



4/25/17 – Quantum Academy students put their creativity to work and created stop motion animation videos for their final Trout in the Classroom project. Click on the below image to view Keyanna’s project.

Keyanna’s Final Project

Click here to view more final projects from other Quantum Academy students.

4/25/17 – For more photos from the classroom and field trips, check out High Tech Elementary North County’s Trout in the Classroom website here.

3/22/17 – Update

The third and final trout release date! All of the Trout in the Classroom schools that we worked with successfully released their fish at Miramar Lake in March. We’d like to thank the hardworking students and teachers of Conway Elementary, Quantum Academy, and High Tech North County for inviting these trout into their classrooms and raising them with TLC. It’s been an amazing experience to see all the interdisciplinary, creative learning that has gone along with this project. We’re excited to run the program again next school year. In the meantime, lets all work together to improve the Escondido Creek’s water quality so we can bring trout there!

Thanks again to SDG&E for helping us fund Trout in the Classroom through their Environmental Champions grant, and to the California Department of Fish & Wildlife for sanctioning the program.

A student from High Tech Elementary North County prepares to release a trout. Photo credit: Hunter “Skye” Reinseth











3/14/17 – Update

Our second trout release of the year was an event full of smiles and accomplishments for over 100 students at High Tech Middle North County school.


3/8/17 – Update

The first trout fry release of the year! 63 Quantum Academy of Escondido students released their trout into Lake Miramar. Each fish received a personalized ‘pep talk’ and send-off. Well done, students!

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:


2/13/17 – Update

Conway Elementary students examine the basket of alevins.













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

Alevins with yolk sacs













1/20/17 – Update

The trout eggs were delivered to the classrooms!

trout in classroom

The trout eggs have arrived for our “Trout in the Classroom” program! These 4th graders from Conway Elementary School strike their best Vanna White pose to present their aquarium. The eggs are the orange cluster inside the basket floating near the top of the tank.





12/19/16 – Update

The aquariums are being set up in the schools.

trout in classroom

Setting up our first aquarium for the “Trout in the Classroom” program with teachers from High Tech High North County, High Tech High Middle North County, and High Tech Elementary North County.










Fall 2016

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 (EFRR) 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.