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Trout in the Classroom: Local Students Get Lesson on Conservation Through Raise and Release Program

Tuesday, May 24, 2022 @ 12:05 AM

Posted by Jacob Deemer

trout2COOKSBURG, Pa. – Superb weather treated fifth-grade students from North Clarion County and Clarion Area Elementary schools for the inaugural Trout in the Classroom Release Day at Cook Forest State Park on Monday May 9, 2022.

(Photos courtesy of Matt Baker and Terry Morrow.)

Made possible through a unique partnership between the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited (PATU) and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), Pennsylvania Trout in the Classroom (PA TIC) is an interdisciplinary environmental education program in which students learn about current and past impacts, management, and protection and enhancement opportunities of Pennsylvania’s cold-water resources, while raising trout in the classroom.

The Release Day is the culmination of raising rainbow trout from eggs to fingerlings and releasing the fish into Tom’s Run. Students were able to attend different presentations from local experts concerning watershed ecosystems and ecology.

The Clarion County Conservation District provided two presentations with Hannah Bequeath engaging students on “Forests for Fish” and Trudy Alexander introducing Bird Watching.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission was well represented by Game Warden DiCicco and Land Manager Bish, who provided information and instruction on Bald Eagles and mammals.

Ecology students from Keystone Jr./Sr. High School also shared their knowledge through presentations on watersheds, water quality and macroinvertebrates, and rainbow trout.

Dr. Andy Turner from the Biology Department at Clarion University of Pennsylvania was the talk of the day as he and his biology students led the fifth graders on a collection and identification of macroinvertebrates from Tom’s Run. He was also joined by the Iron Furnace Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

The Iron Furnace chapter funds and provides support for local schools to participate in the PA Trout in the Classroom program.

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(Pictured above: Education/Outreach Coordinator, Hannah Bequeath, from Clarion County Conservation District leads students on a presentation.)

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(Pictured above: Clarion County Conservation District district manager, Trudy Alexander, introduces students to bird watching.)

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(Pictured above: Warden DiCicco wows students with a presentation on bald eagles.)

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(Pictured above: Keystone Jr./Sr. students Landon Hurrelbrink and Mya Renninger presented the life cycle and history of rainbow trout.)

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(Pictured above: North Clarion County students learn from Keystone Sr./Jr. seniors Alex Huffman, Derik Fenchak, and Quincy Hannold about watersheds.)

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(Pictured above: Water Quality and macroinvertebrates were taught by Keystone Jr./Sr. seniors Bret Wingard and Caleb Nellis.)


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