There is an article in the Herald on the Fish Friends Program where trout are raised in schools by children. Not only is this a way to add some trout to local brooks and streams, but a fantastic way to begin educating children as to the necessity of being responsible for their environment. Especially if they wish to see it continue.
Heres's the story:
Fish Friends best friends for trout headed for local brooks, streams
Published April 13, 2014 - 6:47pm
NEW MINAS — Each morning when he arrives at school, 10-year-old Lucas Bergevin heads to the library to check the 114-litre aquarium.
He records the temperature of the water, ensures that the filter pump is running, the tank is clean and debris removed, then heads to class.
Lucas is the “go-to guy” for New Minas Elementary School’s fish team, part of its 56-student green team responsible for recycling, environmental awareness and the Fish Friends program.
Placed in the aquarium last winter were 250 brook trout eggs. About 200 have hatched and will continue to grow until late June, when the team will release them into Elderkin Brook in Kentville.
The Fish Friends program is sponsored by the Kings County Wildlife Association, which has been operating the program for 20 years. Over that time, thousands of small trout have been released into brooks and streams.
Seven elementary schools from Avonport to Kingston are raising trout this year, said Scott Cook, secretary of the association and president of its fish committee.
The association provides the aquariums, trout eggs, a special fish food and the chiller, a $900 piece of equipment that keeps the water at about 2 C, to imitate natural brook conditions.
The eggs hatch around the middle of March. After consuming their yolk sacs, the hatchlings swim up from the bottom looking for food. They will grow to about five centimetres in length before being released into area brooks and streams at the end of June.
Cook expects about 1,400 trout will be released this year by students.
“It’s quite a popular program. The kids are always excited about it.
“We only lose about 10 per cent of the fish at that stage. … If you put the eggs in the stream, we would lose about 90 per cent of them. So it gives the trout a good headstart. The trout population needs all the help it can get.”
It also instills in the children an appreciation for fish and their environment, Cook said.
“They learn that there is life in these streams, and they can help it in a positive way if they choose to.”
He said much of the success of the program depends on the monitoring teacher who volunteers to take it on. At New Minas Elementary, where the Fish Friends program has been in place for 12 years, that’s French resource teacher Chelsea McOrmond, who also heads up the school’s green team.
“It’s been a great program for a lot of reasons,” said principal Eric Trahan. “The students are really learning from it.”
Lucas, who has two fish-filled aquariums of his own at home, said he’s learned a lot.
“I’m going to miss them when they’re gone.”
Now here is a program, that as an environmentally concerned citizen and angler, I could get behind. This program should be offered in all areas of the province. Not only does it provide the children with responsibility and and an understanding in how our environment needs assistance, the biology envolved in the fishes lifecycle, but it puts these children in a nurturing scenario where they can begin to realize their responsibilities and the effect of their actions.
Wish they'd of had this program when I was in school.
My opinion anyway,