WALPOLE, N.H. – The Trout in the Classroom program is designed to help foster an understanding of the habitat that native brook trout need. The Monadnock Chapter of Trout Unlimited, with financial support of the Cheshire County Conversation District, is purchasing a new chiller for Marlborough School. This will bring the participating number of schools up to ten in the Monadnock Region in the 2017-18 school year.
Each year, teachers and their students take on the responsibly of raising brook trout eggs. The trout eggs, permits, curriculum, and training support for the program are provided by New Hampshire Fish & Game. Aquarium tanks with external chillers provide a cold, clean place for the eggs to develop. The eggs are cared for over a period of two to three months and then released into local habitats. During the period the eggs are developing, students keep records, document the development of the eggs, and research the local habitat where the fry will be released. As they do this, students gain an understanding of the need for clean, cold water for the trout to succeed.
This program offers hundreds of students a hands-on way to understand more about the environment where they live and cultivate a caring stewardship ethic. “We are excited to continue to support the expansion of Trout in the Classroom in Cheshire County,” shared Amanda Littleton, district manager of the Cheshire County Conservation District.
Eric Swope of Keene’s Public Works Department, who helps with the program, added, “The students make the connection that we all have a role in keeping our streams clean and healthy. When they release the trout that they have been raising into a local stream, it helps give them a reason to care about the health of that stream.”
The City of Keene and the Monadnock Chapter of Trout Unlimited will work in partnership to support the program with chillers and technical support at the following Keene schools during the 2017-18 school year: Fuller Elementary, Keene High School, Trinity Christian School, St. Joseph’s School and Keene Montessori Pre-school. Monadnock TU also supports the program at ConVal High School, Harrisville-Wells Memorial School, Hinsdale High School, Marlborough School and Monadnock Regional High School.
For more information and a look at some of the tanks the schools are using, please go to www.monadnocktu.org and click on the “Trout in the Classroom” link.