The Trout in the Classroom (TIC) program is a vital part of TU’s mission and serves to educate youth about stream ecology, sustainability, and to instill a conservation ethic in the next generation.
SFTU Trout in the Classroom
Since 2008 Spokane Falls Trout Unlimited and the Spokane Conservation District have partnered with Spokane area schools to promote an understanding of conservation and environmental science to Spokane area students through experiential learning. Students raise trout from egg to fingerling, observe life stages, practice water quality monitoring, and learn why these things matter. By the time students release the fish at the end of the school year they not only obtain a strong foundation in science but a conservation ethic and a love of learning that will last a lifetime.
Since its inception in 2008, the Spokane Falls chapter of Trout Unlimited (SFTU) and the Spokane Conservation District (SCD) have partnered with Spokane area schools to facilitate Trout in the Classroom in Spokane. Currently 13 local classrooms are participating in the program. Each January, volunteers deliver eggs from the Spokane Hatchery to the classrooms, where they are deposited into large tanks suitable for rearing, on average, around 100 fingerling rainbow trout. At the end of the school year, usually mid-May, classes travel to previously approved (and permitted through Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife) sites to release the fish they successfully raised. Other Release Day activities usually include, but are not limited to, fly casting clinics (Trout Unlimited and Spokane Fly Fishers volunteers), macro invertebrate studies, and watershed demonstrations.
In a world where advanced technology is at our youth’s fingertips, it is more important than ever to get them outdoors and connect them with their environment. Trout in the Classroom brings the outdoors to the students, providing a daily glimpse of nature at work right in their classroom. In addition to a basic understanding of ecology and fish biology, students are exposed to the larger picture; they are connected to the natural resources that human society relies on (clean air and clean water, for example). The fish in the tanks are a lively, interesting, beautiful emblem of our local natural resources and provide a much needed opportunity for students to gain an understanding of (and responsibility for) our local natural resources and how we can manage them sustainably for generations to come.
Contact Marnie Miller-Keas, TIC Coordinator, for more info or volunteer opportunities.
Link to national TIC site: http://www.troutintheclassroom.org/