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Retired teacher and aquarium guru Alan Morrison demonstrates tank setup with new Trout in the Classroom teachers at their recent training at Grizzly Creek Ranch. Mr. Morrison was one of the first educators in Plumas County to raise trout in his classroom approximately 20 years ago. Photos courtesy Trout Unlimited
Something was certainly fishy for participants who attended a recent Trout in the Classroom training at Grizzly Creek Ranch. In fact, trout were the main topic of conversation at the workshop sponsored by Feather River Trout Unlimited. Educators from Plumas, Lassen and Sierra counties gained skills required to set up and maintain a 10-gallon mini-hatchery to raise trout in their own classrooms.
For approximately six weeks in the spring, participating K-12 teachers and their students will care for a tank filled with 30 – 40 trout eggs delivered from the state’s trout hatcheries by Trout Unlimited members. Students observe life cycle changes from egg to yolk-sac stage to tiny fry and eventually release their trout in a state-approved stream before the end of the school year. Nearly 20 teachers in the upper Feather River watershed are currently enrolled in the program.
Local coordination for this program is provided by Trout in the Classroom coordinator Kristy Hoffman, a watershed educator who is also an experienced angler. Joe Ferreira, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, covered permitting and fish release requirements. Retired teachers Alan Morrison and Brenda Ross provided expertise with aquarium setup. Chapter members Bill Copren and Tim Kurdupski explained the egg delivery day, usually in April. A highlight of the day included local fishing guide Bill Forward of Forward Bound and Trout Unlimited member Wayne Cartwright contributing flycasting lessons to the group. Within minutes of guided practice, participants sported colorful lines unfurling effortlessly behind them on a gorgeous November day.
This much-needed training and equipment was supported by The Common Good Foundation, Grizzly Ranch Conservancy, the Rasmussen Foundation and the Plumas and Sierra County fish and game commissions.
If this project sounds intriguing, contact Chapter President Cindy Noble at 249-0444 or Trout in the Classroom coordinator Kristy Hoffman at 283-0455.
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