Trout in the Classroom

Trout in the Classroom

Trout in the Classroom (TIC) is an environmental education program in which students from kindergarten to high school:

- raise trout from eggs to fingerlings
- monitor tank water quality
- engage in stream habitat study
- appreciate water resources
- foster a conservation ethic
- understand ecosystem connectivity

History of Trout in the Classroom

Dr. David Jones

TIC was established in Henry County in 2005 by Dr. David Jones, a local Orthodontist and life member of Trout Unlimited.  Dr. Jones understood the importance of educating our youth in conservation and stream protection.  According to Dr. Jones, "It's not really so much about the fish as it is about excitement in education, a whole new way of learning and exposing kids to conservation issues.  There's no subject they can't relate to Trout in the Classroom."


Brian Williams  In 2006, Brian Williams became a volunteer coordinator for the TIC program and began building the number of tanks and  developing the way TIC was implemented in local schools.  Volunteers  like Wayne Kirpatrick, a     certified Virginia Stream Monitor and DRBA board member were key to the continued success and growth of    TIC.  In 2008 the Dan River  Basin Association adopted the highly successful  TIC program with continued    support from Dr. Jones. TIC has continued  to grow in Virginia and North Carolina under the direction of the staff and volunteers of DRBA  and it has become one of the largest TIC  programs in  the country. 

  In 2011, Krista Hodges was hired as the Education Outreach and TIC Coordinator taking over the primary responsibility for TIC.  Krista      developed the program further by adding addtional opportunities for teachers and students with educational presentaions directly related    to TIC including watershed, life cycle and macro invertebrates.  Programs continue to be developed that enhance learning opportuities     associated with and connected closely to state learning standards (SOLs) that enhance math, science and language arts curricula for students of all ages.  Krista Hodges

Students receive trout eggs in the Fall or early Winter and care for them until they become fingerlings, ultimately releasing them in the Spring into a local approved coldwater stream.  During the program, students learn to see connections between the trout, water resources, stream environment and themselves.  Teachers also tell us that their students show improved behavior and attendance, in addition to increased math, science and language arts skills.

The TIC program is not only educational but also has real environmental impact.  Trout are indicator species; their abundance in local rivers directly reflects the quality of the water in which they live. The vision of DRBA and its partner, Trout Unlimited, is to protect and restore North America's coldwater fisheries and its watersheds.  TIC brings this vision directly to the members of this generation by allowing them to discover the wonder of nature for themselves.

Interested in learning more or participating in this program?  Interested in volunteering?

To learn more about Trout in the Classroom, please contact Krista Hodges, Education Outreach and Trout in the Classroom Coordinator, at (276) 634-2592 or khodges@danriver.org.

The System

Trout in the Classroom Manual
The TIC Manual is a 47 page manual that includes everything from how to set up the entire trout system, how to maintain the system, what to do at release time, and several ideas on curriculum and lesson plans.

Equipment List
Entire list of equipment needed for our TIC program.

Maintenance

Below are two videos that might be helpful when dealing with your tank system.  One video focuses on the attachment of the hoses to the chiller.  This seems to be the most difficult part for most teachers. The other video explains what to do when changing out a chiller that is no longer working for a new chiller.  

How to hook hoses up to chiller

How to change out chillers

Videos & Photo Gallery

Creative Writing - Rainbow Trout Story

Trout Release

Trout Release - Trout Song

Egg & Alevin Care and Cleaning

All About TIC

Trout in the Classroom Photo Gallery

Trout-N-About 5.5k Race - Held on May 10th, 2014 /Fieldale Trail Access, Fieldale, VA  Race Pictures. Race results can be found on the DRBA Facebook page

Presentations available to schools and groups:

Tub O Bugs

What is a watershed?

Pollution and Solutions

Trout Life Cycle

Smith River Dynamics and Food Web

For lesson plans related to Trout in the Classroom, please visit http://www.troutintheclassroom.org/teachers/lesson-plans.