Sixth grade students at OESJ Elementary traveled to SUNY Cobleskill College on October 21, 2016 for their Trout in the Classroom field trip. Brent Lehman, the fish hatchery manager, introduced students to the college hatchery and taught students how to spawn the brook trout. Students had a chance to tour the agricultural section of the campus and were able to eat lunch in a marine biology lab; giving 6th graders an idea of what a future college program could be like.
Students have been learning about brook trout in science class and were able to apply their knowledge of trout anatomy to a hands-on learning experience. Each student had the chance to strip a fish of their eggs or milt, tell the difference between a male and female trout, or fertilize the eggs in a metal bowl with the swish of a turkey feather! Students used their math skills to figure out the amount of eggs in a milliliter of sample and 300 eggs traveled back to school in a small cooler. The eggs were then placed in the 55 gallon classroom tank that has been set up for optimal brook trout conditions. Students will have the opportunity to observe the trout hatch, feed them, take care of the tank and release the trout in the spring to a local stream.
Trout in the Classroom is a multi-disciplinary program that provides lessons in ecology, marine biology, anatomy and the life cycle through Trout Unlimited. You can find out more about the program at troutintheclassroom.org. Please visit the school website in about a month to see our live trout-cam!