During the month of March, Grade 3 students learned about the fragile lifecycle of fish through their participation in a program called Trout in the Classroom.
Trout in the Classroom is a community-based program which allows students to experience first hand the delicate balance needed for animals to survive in aquatic ecosystems. Using eggs provided by a hatchery, classes set-up and maintain an aquarium for the purpose of observing the development of fish from the eyed-egg stage until they become young fry. Students engage in a course of study which supports the learning experience across curriculum area. This program is run cooperatively by local schools, fishing clubs and government agencies.
-Provide a positive learning program for classrooms on the value of aquatic ecosystems through the hatching and release of trout.
-Help students learn about their local watershed and how human activities affect the quality of water in local streams, lakes and the bay.
The trout eggs were received at the beginning of March and hatched near the end of the month. Two of the fish were born with spinal defects, but the rest did well. The fish had their pure spring water changed twice a week, and had a carefully monitored feeding schedule. Throughout the process students were able to see firsthand the various life stages of the trout as they moved from embryonic, to hatching, to larval, to becoming juveniles.
On April 3, students went to Lake Merced in San Francisco to release the trout. Students also hiked around the whole lake and observed wildlife including red tailed hawks, grebes, cormorants, and mallards. Girls made meaningful connections between healthy watersheds and a healthy planet.
Ms. Konika Ray adds:
Releasing the trout in Lake Merced helps maintain healthy levels of biodiversity. The trout play a critical role in the food web by eating macroinvertebrates and being eaten by larger predators. The trout’s sensitivity to pollution makes it a valuable indicator species of the overall water quality and health of the environment. Lake Merced is San Francisco’s backup water supply if the Hetch Hetchy Resevoir is contaminated or cut off from San Francisco for any reason.
To learn more about this program, please visit: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/CAEP/R3