Monday, May 30, 2011

Scientific Illustration

Belle Sherman 3rd grades enjoyed their second visit from visiting artist Camille Doucet. This time children worked on illustrating the life cycle of the brown trout.

Next week, Camille will join us at our Trout Release Party at Six Mile Creek where she will lead us in a "drawing from nature" activity.

A big thank you to the Fine Arts Booster Group for funding Camille's visits to Belle Sherman and South Hill!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Belle Sherman Mini Fishing Day

Belle Sherman's Star Room 3rd grade had a "mini" fishing day in the classroom last Friday.
Matt Herman, co-teacher and TIC mentor brought in a collection of stream critters and fly-tying supplies. Children worked through 3 activity stations:

Stream critters:
We got to try out our new stereo-microscopes (THANK YOU, IPEI!) to observe caddisfly larvae and stoneflies. The microscopes magnify 200x... I can't tell you how many kids shrieked when they saw a stonefly through the lenses. It looked big enough to be a SERIOUS predator instead of prey!

Trout observation: careful observation of a fingerling.

Fly-tying: Children looked at pictures of stream critters and chose fur and feathers for Matt to use as he tied flies to match the pictures. We field tested the flies and found the trout were equally interested in Matt's flies as they were in the real thing!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Groton Release

We finally got some good weather and mud-free banks on the Owasco Inlet in Groton to let our Browns go.  We released them this morning in the midst of a midge hatch...nature's reassurance that our little guys will be properly fed!  We're all looking forward to the upcoming Floating Classroom trip!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Stream Insect Studies Underway!

Third graders at Belle Sherman Elementary have been studying macro-invertebrate populations (these are stream insects and crustaceans which are visible without magnification) in stream samples. They are getting help from our amazing Cornell Ed. 2400 interns Amanda and Yuhang.

The students have used their knowledge of insects, combined with dichotomous keys to identify a variety of insect larvae- stoneflies, mayflies, caddisflies and more. Using Isaac Walton League stream survey forms, they have also determined that samples from Enfield Creek and Lick Brook indicate very health streams. Either would be good habitat for trout!

At the end of the class, we feed insect larvae to the trout- and the trout go nuts! Insects are an incredibly important food- as fly-fishermen know- and our trout recognized them right away. There was one exception however... the trout fry were not in the least interested in HORSEFLY larvae, pictured to the right. Why might that be???