Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Here it is, our first student-produced instructional video. Great job Noel and Julianna!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

At Belle Sherman our 3rd grade class has been having a blast with our trout! We started with about 300 alevin-- we actually counted them. Lately we have had a huge die-off, though the water chemistry looks fine so we aren't sure why. We are at about 150 now.

The children designed an experiment earlier on to determine if the fish were ready for food. We put several fish into containers, fed them and observed their response to the food. The results were inconclusive, but it was very exciting anyway.

Our class has been formally observing the fish about once a week. Each observation has a focusing question or questions. Last week's questions were, What markings do the fish have? Why do you think they have those markings? Children record their observations in the form of drawings and written notes.

Matt Herman (our mentor and co-teacher in our class) and I took the class down to Six Mile Creek near Water St. for an up close and personal look at trout habitat.

We checked water temperature (39.1 F) and pH (7.8, just like in our tank) and threw lots of rocks in the water. When we returned to the classroom, children painted pictures of trout habitat, from the trout's point of view, which we will attach to the tank to help the fish feel more at home.

Children feed the fish and check pH daily. We are working up to the more complicated water tests.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

In Groton, we're learning about diffusion and osmosis in class.  We used the opportunity to talk about dissolved oxygen in our tank and related the concept to our Brown Trout gills.  If you've never used Brainpop, they have a great video on fish gills and countercurrent exchange:  Give the free trial a shot.  On another note, all of the trout seem healthy and active.  We've only lost about 8 fish since the beginning.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Here are some images from Chad DeVoe's 7th grade life science classes at Groton Middle School.
BEAUTIFUL. Thanks, Guys!

First up- the "eyed" egg. Notice the visible eye and head. Its just about ready to hatch...

And here is a new-born "alevin", or "sack-fry". The attached yolk-sack will provide nutrition for the first 3-4 weeks in our aquarium setting.

We will be able to observe capillary formation, as the alevins utilize their food source. The yolk sacks will gradually be incorporated into the growing digestive tract. The alevins will also be growing gills, fins and a mroe complete body-structure in teh coming weeks. All viewable in class!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Eggs begin Hatching!

During my visit with 3rd graders at Belle Sherman this morning, we witnessed the first of our brown trout eggs hatching. The newly hatched alevins will spend a good deal of time building strength before they are ready to swim out of their nursery basket, but they were pretty active already this morning. Newfield reports that they have eggs hatching today also- we anticipate that everyone's eggs will hatch within the next couple of days.

Send in your pictures & make your survival predictions (See Student Data page for charts of survival expectations from each school!)

Friday, October 22, 2010


On Thursday, October 21, we visited DEC's Bath Hatchery and collected roughly 1000 brown trout eggs, which were distributed to classes at nine schools over the course of the day. Students are awaiting hatch day at the following schools, so watch for reports from participating classes!

Belle Sherman Elementary
Cayuga Heights Elementary
Northeast Elementary
South Hill Elementary
Enfield Elementary
Caroline Elementary
Newfield Middle School
Groton Middle School
Boynton Middle School

Special thanks, also, to the folks at DEC, and to Michael Lenetsky, Owen Lenetsky, Josh Filter and Colleen Kearns for all their help!
- Bill Foster, Project Mgr.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Groton is ready!

Today we spent some time today getting the trout tank ready for tomorrow's egg delivery.  We are very excited!  Mercedes prepped the tank by testing water pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels.  A special thanks to all of our sponsors and volunteers for making this happen.

Friday, June 25, 2010


ON May 28, fifth graders from Mrs. Mayer's class release their trout to Fall Creek at Monkey Run. Mysteriously, only two two browns survived to release day at Northeast, but "Big Bertha" and "Big Bart" were healthy and ready to go, and everyone had a fantastic time. Fall Creek, by the way, was rated as "Good Habitat", according to our Izaak Walton League assessment protocol. Enjoy some wonderful pictures, courtesy of Cayuga Lake Watershed Steward, Hilary Lambert! Thanks to Mike Kniffin and Gian Dodici of the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Cortland Office for helping out!

Click on this picture to for a set of beautiful photos, taken by our own Cayuga Lake Watershed Network Steward, Hilary Lambert!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Enfield Trout in the Classroom Wiki is UP!

If you would like to read about the THIRD GRADE Trout in the Classroom Project, enjoy some artwork and HEAR ABOUT IT IN THE STUDENTS OWN VOICES, please click the link below:

Our Wiki page is located here:

Saturday, June 12, 2010


The 2009-2010 Trout in the Classroom program drew to a fine conclusion on Thursday (Jule 10) with the release of 26 healthy brown trout fry at Lower Buttermilk State Park. South Hill 4th Graders from Ms. Wilkie's, Ms. Lee's and Ms. Eckley's classes did a fantastic job, raising and learning about their trout during the year.

Along with their own trout, our South Hill students also agreed to release an additional eight brown trout, raised by 4th graders at Belle Sherman Elementary. Students in Mr. Millers class, along with helpers in Ms. Port's, Ms. Gainess and M.s Devers' classes also did an excellent job this year - and won the prize for most successful aquaponics experiment!

Special thanks goes out to Matt Herman at Belle Sherman; Regional Wildlife Biologist Tom Hughs and the Finger Lakes Regional State Parks naturalist crew; Michael Lenetsky and the restof the Trout Unlimit volunteers; and the parents to made this all possible. Check out this VIDEO FOOTAGE from BUTTERMILK FALLS, provided by parent Larry Clarkberg!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Caroline Release

Friday was our final day with our trout! What a journey it's been! We've studied them since they looked like this:

Now they are all 3-4 inches long and are ready to be released into the Cayuga Lake watershed. Luckily, 6-Mile Creek is right in our backyard! We put our trout in buckets,
and hiked out to the creek behind Caroline.
Bill did some exercises with us, like examining the plant growth, insects, temperature, and pH of the stream environment we were to be releasing our trout into.

Finally, it was time to release the 40-50 trout we had! (We used to have around 80-90 but had a horrible low pH problem last Monday which caused us to lose half the fish).
Goodbye fishies! Good luck in nature!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hydroponics in our Aquarium

Miss Coffey here from Caroline Elementary School... We're currently on spring break, but that doesn't stop me from working or taking care of our trout!!! Yesterday I went into school for awhile to get some stuff done. As I fed the excited fish, I saw that our hydroponics experiment was working! The grass floating on the top of the tank is growing!
(Click the picture to see a closer view)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Over at Caroline Elementary...

Out trout are getting SO big!!! And they're always hungry! We did a little experiment yesterday with all of the worms resurfacing outside on that wet day and dangled some over our trout aquarium. We were laughing as they actually leapt out of the water to get them!

Friday, January 29, 2010


Today Bill was in to do this month's brown trout lesson. The above shows a food chain. We have a sample of algae on the right and one of the brown trout on the left. In the middle we are missing an important link in the chain that eats the algae but acts as a food source for trout; the Daphnia, or "water flea." We fed daphnia to our trout to see if they would recognize it as a food source because up until now they have just been feeding on fish food. We concluded that these fish instinctually fed on these prey even though they had never encountered them before.
Curtis observes his hungry brown trout.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hungry Browns

Our trout have amazing appetites! We are feeding them about 5 times a day to help discourage them from "going cannibal". Here is video we took at the surface during feeding time.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


So far, trout at most of our schools are achieving a 75%-80% survival rate, but a new facter has arisen. Students at Newfield, Lansing and Northeast have witnessed.... CANNIBALISM!
While a number of schools have reported seeing trout par with tails sticking out of their mouths, no one has actually witnessed cannibalism as it happens. Are these trout stalking healthy neighbors, or are they removing sick/dying fish? More observations are needed!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Today Bill Foster and a helper, Colleen, came to Caroline and led us in an experiment with our ever-growing hungry little trout! So far we've been feeding our trout three times a day this dry, crumbly, non-living fish food. But does that happen in nature? Do we go to streams and lakes and dump in enough fish food for all of the things living in it? NO! Our trout don't have parents to help teach them what to do in nature, so we took several trout out of the aquarium, put them in beakers, and dumped in some living Daphnia. The tiny Daphnia swam around and we wanted to see if our trout would have the instinct (a natural or intuitive way of acting or thinking) to eat the Daphnia or not.

Cool picture of Daphnia in the shadows:

Watch what happened:

Friday, January 1, 2010

Picturing Writing

These are some of the activities we have been working on. These first paintings are of the habitat trout are know to dwell (rivers and lakes) and then we will begin to paint and write about each life cycle stage of the trout. Hopefully, we will have a completed book at the end of the year.

Enfield Trout

Happy New Year! Our trout have been doing wonderfully. Everything has been functioning properly with good reading from the water tests. So far we've only lost 8 fish. Considering we lost about 85% of our fish at this time last year, our mortality rate is superb. One contributing factor that might be indicative our survival rate is that I placed the ammonia chips into the filter before the fish arrived as opposed to last year when I put the chips in during January. Check out our other blog to see what our class has been up to. Mr. Brooks' class