O-fish-ial beginning of summer break with trout release

 

Students learn life cycles raising trout

 

Waiting for fish to be netted into a cup

Big Joe, Little Joe, Double Bubble, Squidward, Sponge Bob and hundreds of their friends swam into their new home at Andy Adams Pond Monday.

Fourth-grade students from Whitesides Elementary gently released the trout fry they have watched grow from a small orange egg since January. As they dipped the clear plastic cup into the pond water, some students lamented saying goodbye to their fish friends.

“I just hope they don’t get eaten,” said fourth-grade student Kyoko. “They’re still small you know.”

Unfortunately, students had already witnessed the circle of life when a fin was discovered hanging out of Big Joe’s mouth one morning. 

Teacher Ellen Cox said raising the fish fits into the fourth-grade curriculum as they learn about the structure of plants and animals. Lessons include learning about what different animals need to survive, including their environment and food.

“It’s a lot of fun for the kids to watch how they change,” Cox said. “They come to us as little orange balls with black specks, and in a day or two they pop out with their tails, then just all the transformations in their life cycles. It’s fun to bring it all together and for the students to see where (the trout) end up.”

Two other schools in Davis School District participated in raising trout this year — South Clearfield and Wasatch elementary schools — with a total of 50 schools statewide.

Brandon Archuleta, a volunteer for Weber Basin Trout Unlimited, said the trout are placed with students because it gets them involved in learning about their environment and the impact they have on waterways. Some may even get excited about studying Ecology. 

“This type of ecosystem affects everything we do down river,” Archuleta said. “That’s what Trout Unlimited is about, the restoration of waterways.”