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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

McKean County Trout in the Classroom Programs


Students across McKean County are fortunate to learn more about the state fish-the Brook trout. Right now, classes are anticipating young sac fry hatching from trout eggs in their classroom. They will watch these tiny fish grow into fingerlings that they will release into local streams. The program mimics nature, as wild brook trout lay eggs in the fall. Students learn about coldwater conservation, the importance of clean water, and stream ecology. The trout are a powerful teaching tool that brings a real life perspective to conservation biology.

The Conservation District is proud to be part of the Pennsylvania Trout in the Classroom program. McKean County school participation in the Trout in the Classroom program is made possible through a unique partnership between PA Fish and Boat Commission and PA Council of Trout Unlimited. This partnership, with assistance from local conservation organizations, was created to introduce Pennsylvania students to coldwater resources and their importance to all communities. The partnership also provides brook trout eggs, trout food, technical assistance, curriculum connections, and teacher workshops each year. Local organizations, such as the Upper Allegheny Watershed Association, Seneca Trout Unlimited, and the Kinzua Fish and Wildlife Association serve as project partners and provide financial support to purchase equipment.

The Conservation District provides educational programming related to environmental science and aquatic ecology. The District also provides local technical support to teachers with TIC tanks. Connections to program partners can be made for those interested in new programs.

For the 2017-2018 school year there are seven TIC tanks in all county school districts in both elementary and high school classrooms. Teachers participating include Mr. Todd Wheaton- Port Allegany High School, Mr. Bob Raudenbush- Port Allegany Elementary School, Ms. Theresa Harris- Smethport High School, Mr. Corey Cochran- Smethport Elementary School, Mr. Boyd Fitzsimmons- Otto-Eldred High School, Ms. Pam Digel – Bradford High School, and Mr. Jason Barner- Kane High School.

These teachers deserve recognition for taking on the extra responsibility of the trout tank and sharing this experience with their classes.

Contact the McKean County Conservation District or visit www.patroutintheclassroom.org for more information about Trout in the Classroom.

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