Perry High School environmental science class raising fingerlings to stock Grand River
Aquaculture isn’t a main staple of general high school curriculum, but that hasn’t stopped Perry High School environmental science students from developing a close relationship with area waterways, principally the Grand River.
Under the direction of instructor Bill Crow, the class volunteers annually in the Ohio Stream Quality Monitoring Project.
Students collect and survey small aquatic organisms from a stream to determine which types are present, and how frequently they occur.
Working with staff from the Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District, they compile biological and water quality data to determine the health of the river. The process is repeated in the same area three to four times a year, according to the course/project.
The students’ latest environmental endeavor, dubbed “Trout in the Classroom,” will again take them to the river’s edge with a supply of fingerling rainbow trout they are raising in their classroom.
Students introduce eggs into a coldwater tank, where the care and maintenance of the tank and the fish become the students’ responsibility. The hatched fingerlings are fed until they reach 2 to 3 inches in length, and are then released in designated waters.
“This project is an excellent environmental education tool that connects students to their watershed,” Crow said. “It helps them build a sense of responsibility to take care of our streams.”
“Trout in the Classroom” is made possible through a STEM grant from FirstEnergy Corp. The grant monies were used to purchase equipment for the project. Students have set up an aquarium and are raising trout from eggs supplied by the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
The “Trout in the Classroom” program was first introduced on the East Coast in 1991, following the success of a similar program, “Salmon in the Classroom,” on the West Coast.
The programs, sponsored by Trout Unlimited, are the result of numerous collaborations among teachers, volunteers, government agencies and local organizations.
Perry environmental science class students investigate current environmental issues by using scientific reasoning, analysis and real-world applications.
Originally posted at The News-Herald by Chad Felton on March 9, 2018.
Image courtesy Perry High School.