For the fourth year in a row, students in Dr. Brian Blair’s Animal Science Class and the AP Environmental Science Class played a part in reviving trout populations in U.S. waterways by depositing 168 trout into a stream along the Gunpowder watershed. This annual participation in Trout Unlimited’s Trout in the Classroom program fittingly took place on Earth Day this year.
This up-close look at several life cycles of trout began with the delivery of trout eggs over the winter. After the eggs hatched the trout began the next phase of their development living in a "breeder basket" in the Upper School. Once the trout grew to be 1-2 inches long and could eat on their own, the students released them from their breeder basket into a tank. Prior to their release into the stream, the trout practiced swimming and foraging for food.
Trout experience a 96% mortality rate during their first three stages of life in the wild. By caring for the fish until they’ve grown beyond stage three, the mortality rate drops to 11%. This year’s deposit marked one of Garrison Forest’s most successful since the school has been taking part in the program. To date, GFS has released more than 600 fish into the wild.
In addition to releasing trout, the students clean up streams and searched for animal tracks, finding tracks of hawks and foxes.