To start a Trout in the Classroom program at your school, contact your state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife or find a local chapter of Trout Unlimited. These agencies sponsor training programs for teachers to show them how to set up an aquarium, get eggs, raise the fry, and release them into designated ecosystems. For specific resources, see the list of selected programs below:
- Nationwide – A flourishing Trout in the Classroom program is administered through Trout Unlimited. Any state with a chapter of Trout Unlimited can participate (find your local chapter using this interactive map). For more information on the Trout in the Classroom program, contact Rochelle Gandour at (718)595-3503 or e-mail her at rgandour (at) tu.org
- California – The California Department of Fish and Game sponsors the California Classroom Aquarium Education Project. Resources, training and equipment is provided by the state and by local fly-fishing groups.
- Nevada – The Nevada Department of Wildlife sponsors the Trout in the Classroom program. Resources, training and equipment is provided by the state.
- Washington – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife sponsors a Salmon in the Classroom project.
- New England (New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, etc.) – The Adopt-a-Salmon program has partnerships with river associations throughout the region to sponsor salmonids in the classroom.
- New Jersey – The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife sponsors the Trout in the Classroom program in collaboration with Trout Unlimited.
On your trout release field trip, organize students into groups and assign each group an area of the creek, stream or river to survey. Groups are responsible for collecting data about the quality of the habitat and whether the newly released trout will have what they need to survive. Gather data on factors such as temperature, dissolved oxygen content, pH, shade, cover, and food availability. See the Water Analysis activity or the Habitat Survey activity or the Sediment Study project for details. A handout is provided but should be adapted to your specific release site.