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Friday, May 18, 2018

Trout Release Day at Wildcat Park

On Thursday, May 17th, 140 students from Kane, Smethport and Sheffield schools attended the Regional Trout Release at Wildcat Park in Ludlow. The event was coordinated by the McKean County Conservation District. Brook trout, raised in the students’ classrooms, were released in the stream. Students raised the brook trout from eggs beginning in November.

Students then participated in a series of stations-‘Trees & Trout’, 'Watershed Walk',' Bugs of the Underworld', 'Searching for Sasquatch', ‘Recycling Rendezvous Relay’, and 'Cast Away'. These stations taught students the benefits of trees near streams; watershed & stream health; aquatic life; nature observation and signs of wildlife; recycling importance & tips; and an introduction to fly fishing. Stations were led by staff from the McKean and Warren County Conservation Districts, the U.S. Forest Service, and Cornplanter Trout Unlimited chapter. Wildcat Park graciously hosts this annual program. The park is the site of recent stream improvement projects by the McKean County Conservation District to improve habitat for native trout and other aquatic species.

The statewide 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, coupled 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.

The event was the final activity of the Trout in the Classroom project for these students.

Kane students, Tyler Snyder, Paige Niklas, Jacob Silvis, and Joe Stanko,  along with their teacher Jason Barner, took part in the morning release and installed a streambank stabilization  project including live staking of shrubs and planting native seed mix. 

Students from Kane High, Sheffield Elementary, and Smethport Elementary schools release brook trout they raised.

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