Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Yesterday, 115 students from Boynton Middle School in Ithaca released 64 brown trout fry to Fall Creek, in Plumbers Pool, just below Ithaca Falls. The students raised their fry from eggs over the course of 6 months, had fun, and learned a great deal along the way!

Prior to releasing the trout, we checked conditions of the creek. The students found it to have a pH of 7.6, which is slightly basic and correlates well with conditions in the aquarium where the trout were raised. Additionally the water temperature in the pool was still in the mid-fifties, although temperatures in the shallower water were about 62 degrees F. Its getting warm for most trout and salmon, in Fall Creek, but the browns will be OK. A quick check of insect life in the stream reveals quite a few stonefly larvae, which are indicators of good quality habitat and provide excellent food for brown trout.

The students concluded that Fall Creek will provide a good habitat, and completed the release. Now the trout will need to fend for themselves in a new environment. The habitat may be fine, but they'll need to content with the fishing Great Blue Heron we observed, bass, and other predators. To see more pictures, click here!

Congratulations to Mrs. Morton's 6th graders, and thanks to the Leon Chandler Trout Unlimited members, and all who helped! Check out our article in the Ithaca Journal!

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