Read Carolyn Thomas’ TROUT article for TU’s TROUT Magazine. Carolyn Thomas is one of our very own Winchester TIC teachers.
What has two heads, one tail, and a single egg sac? It’s an anomaly, for sure; a two-headed alevin that hatched from a fertilized brook trout egg in one of our Virginia “Trout in the Classroom” tanks.
The Trout in the Classroom (TIC) program, which is over 20 years old, has grown rapidly in our state. Students and teachers from elementary through high school are raising trout from fertilized eggs supplied by VDGIF hatcheries, in aquariums equipped with special chillers designed to keep the water near 50 degrees F. The students make daily temperature measurements, and monitor pH and ammonia levels with test kits. They record their data, plot trends, and make sure that the water quality is sufficient to support trout development. In the spring, they’ll release the trout fry into a local stream.
In 2014 we’ve got TIC tanks in 20 area schools, and the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum (open to the public). Students are again raising brook trout from eggs donated by the Paint Bank hatchery near Covington. The fingerlings, which hatched in late October, are almost three inches long by by mid-February. And towards the end of the school year, students will release the fry into Redbud Run, a spring creek in Frederick County which historically held a population of brook trout — and hopefully will again in the future.
If you’re a teacher in our region who is interesting in participating in the program and you would like more details, please contact:
Winchester Area TIC Coordinator
References for TIC:
Read Dave Whitlock’s “Brook Trout Story” that was published in Trout Magazine.
Teachers can use this PA TIC manual for a guide for the program.
There’s also an excellent website at www.troutintheclassroom.org which has all the information you’ll need to get started.