Nottingham Students Raise Trout in the Classroom
Published on 3/20/17
District News Academics Nottingham High School
“The pH might be high because the ammonia level is high,” Nottingham Natural Resources teacher Jaime Rodriguez explained to students as they tested the water of their classroom fish tank.
As part of a grant funded by the SCSD Educational Foundation, Natural Resources students are raising trout in their class as part of a stream habitat study and to help them learn about ecosystem connectivity.
“We got the trout eggs from the hatchery,” sophomore Abrahim Kenneh explained. “We’re pretty much raising them ourselves. In the spring, we’ll release them back into the wild.”
The Rome Fish Hatchery provided the Brown Trout eggs, which will be released in Butternut Creek in May. When that time comes, students will have learned a lot about conservation efforts at the state level to help the local species, including how the fishing industry sells fishing licenses to help benefit programs like Brown Trout stocking.
“When the students come full circle and release the trout while also fishing for other species of fish, I hope they gain an understanding of the effort it takes to sustain our local wildlife here in New York,” Ms. Rodriquez said.
Students have learned about water quality monitoring, stream health and macroinvertebrates; and, in the spring, they will learn about fly fishing and the fishing industry in New York. In the meantime, to help bring their lessons to life, they have learned how to properly care for the fish in their classroom.
“We studied their anatomy and their life cycle,” classmate Mariam Almohamad added. “And we learned how to test the water so we can keep their environment stable.”
Each day, students rotate through the role of trout caretaker, where they measure the tank’s water temperature, check for dead fish and check the filter and measure the ammonia, nitrates and pH of the water.
“It’s been fun! I like that it’s hands-on… that we’re not just sitting at our desks!” Abrahim said.
Thank you, Ms. Rodriguez, for helping your students gain an appreciation for our local water and fish species, and thank you to the SCSD Educational Foundation for making this project possible. This is one of 20 projects funded by the SCSD Educational Foundation in 14 schools this year, totaling $53,000.