Friday, March 18, 2011

Trout Coloration Experiment at Cayuga Heights

The second graders at Cayuga Heights want to give a big thank you to our friends at Belle Sherman and Caroline Elementary Schools for sharing some trout with us! They are doing well and seem to be enjoying their new home. All the fish are getting along right now, but we have noticed some of the bigger fish are starting to chase the smaller fish.

Because we were lucky enough to receive trout from different locations, we decided to conduct a coloration experiment. Our hypothesis is that the trout coloration will change to match the background of our tank. A few weeks ago, with the help of Bill and his trusty interns, we created a dark green background for our tank and made scientific drawings to document the trout coloration.

When the trout from Caroline arrived on Wednesday we noticed a clear difference in coloration compared to the trout that had been in our dark green tank. Our Cayuga Heights trout were darker than the trout that arrived from Caroline. We suspect that the tank in Caroline has a lighter background than ours. We will be observing and documenting the trout's coloration over the next few weeks to see if the Caroline trout start to blend in with our Cayuga Heights trout.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Caroline Trout

Here's a photo of us in front of our tank. Recently, we have been enjoyed observing a large trout, we named Jaws, terrorize the small fish in the tank. Jaws lurks behind the bubbler and has been seen with a tail coming out of his mouth. He is about 8cm long and looks much different from many other fish in the tank. His color is much lighter than the other fish and he has lighter, smaller spots. The dorsal fin closest to his tail is a bright, orange-red color. We are looking forward to seeing what other trouble Jaws gets into. Hopefully we can capture a picture of him in action. We will certainly post it if we do! Come check out some of our "Trout Tales", some involving Jaws, at the Ithaca Fishing Day on Saturday!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lansing High Brook Trout

A few days ago we were cleaning out the tank with a tube. It took us a little while to figure out how to use it but in the end we did. We had one part of the tube in the water and the other in a bucket, one person sucked on the end out of the bucket and the water started to come out, then the other person vacuumed the bottom of the tank with the other end of the tube. This was a very effective way to clean. While the one person had their arm in the tank trying to vacuum all of the algae up. One of the fish continuously head-butted the persons arm, which was very interesting. This was interesting because a few weeks ago when we put the daphnia in with them they all tried to stay away from them but now that they have grown they have no problem with a whole human arm. As a quick side note, it is a few days after we cleaned the tank and it is already dirty, which is quite amazing.

Here is some nice video- check out the parr marks!
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-Zack Smith

Groton Voicethread

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ithaca Fishing & Conservation Day Announced

Free & Open to All
Trout in the Classroom School Displays
Presentations throughout the day; including Hydrilla Control in Cayuga Lake
Fly-casting, fly-tying lesson and fishing tips by local experts.

Live stream-insect and trout demos, featuring Boynton's own "Trout in the Classroom"

Badger Creek, Cortland Line, D&D Baits & Tackle, Mad River Tackle & Dubbing Co.

(Last year's video- only the date has changed!)

Lansing High Brook Trout

We have observed a very small brook trout, that is very skitish and fast. It seems to be afraid of the other bigger fish and it stays in a corner. When it moves, it moves incredibly fast, but it seems to be a runt. On a further note, we have not had any casualties in about a month. which I believe is because there now is enough room for all 31 remaining fish. We had started with 100 fish and have lost 69 of them, but I do not expect us to have many more casualties.

Check out the video here:
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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lansing High Brook Trout

The growth of the brook trout popoulation and their interactions are an interesting topic to study. When the eggs first hatched, there was more than a hundred of the young trout. However, as they grew, their population went down.
When counting the population of the fish in the tank, we ran into some trouble. Although it sounds strange to have trouble counting fish, we found that the fish blend in to the rocks used at the bottom. At first we tried to count from left to right as fast as we could. It was a practical method, but wasn't working because the trout would swim around, making us unsure of what fish we had counted and what fish had not been counted. To try and counteract this, we put food in the water to try and get the fish to swim to the top and eat while we counted. This technique didn't have very much success as the fish would swim to the top one or two at a time, seeing as how all the fish didn't realize that food had been put into the tank. This method of counting was also unsuccesful because the fish became more agitated when food was put in and they moved around more, making it more difficult to count them. One method that we may try in the future is to take a picture of the fish and then count them all.
About two weeks ago Mr. Foster came into our school to feed our fish daphnia. About six kids came after school and we watched a very interesting powerpoint about daphnia. Before we watched it we isolated three fish into 3 seperate beakers and put blue paper around each beaker to soothe them. After we watched the powerpoint, we took the blue paper off and inserted some daphnia. Our fish shied away form the daphnia and did not eat many of them. The fish that I was watching only ate one Daphnia. The fish actually appeared to be marking its territory at one point. It swum around half of the beaker repetitively. We believe it is a possibility that the fish would have eaten more if we had put a rock or something to shelter them inside their cage because it would provide a more natural and safe feeling habitat.