Monday, June 1, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
We have been releasing the trout in small groups of about five so that all 40 watershed students can see the trout being released with out it being to crowded.
We have already done 1 trout release so far with Mr. Hoover's class of 2nd graders. We did this on the Little Darby near Wayne Elementary School on the Brooke Trail.
We will be releasing the trout farther up the stream next time! So keep checking back to see how our other releases go!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
In this undocumented time, the trout have been growing and growing and growing! The average size is around 2 inches and the largest are even up to 5 inches! The largest trout have also began to have a rusty red color on their tummies! This is very exciting!
Today Mrs. Gardiner (Tommy's Mom) came in and talked to us about the different flowers in Skunk Hollow like Trout Lilys. We learned a lot about those different flowers.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
We have noticed that one of the trout has a swimming disability. It had an injury and when it healed the fin became crooked. Watershed has nick-named this trout "the trout with fin scoliosis". We believe that this trout would not survive in the wild because of survival of the fittest. But in this classroom environment he is lucky because he does not have too search for food. The trout team has also spotted him resting on the filter and plants to save energy when he is tired. We are considering keeping him because otherwise he will just have to fend for himself in the wild.
Watershed has also noticed that the trout are sometimes biting one another. They are not an aggressive species so we do not think that this will lead to any harm.
Also, Gary Schmidt, author of 2 Newbery Honor books, visited RMS today. He has written The Wednesday Wars, Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy and, his latest book, Trouble. He came into Watershed and was amazed by our trout! Maybe some day he will read our Nyckel book! :)
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Unfortunatley, one trout died over break. :( But on the bright side, this is the first trout that has died in a long while! We are unsure of the cause, but the trout team will continue to investigate! We are wondering if the death could possibly be an ammonia/nitrate spike. He was a pretty large trout, and we found him stuck to the filter when we came ot school today.
We will keep a watch out to insure the health of our trout!
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Skunk Hollow is one of the release sites we are considering for our trout so we would like to post the results here. Feel free to post comments on what you think about Skunk Hollow as our trout release site!
Biotic Index Total= 7 (4 class 1 BMI's, and 1 class 2 BMI)
In conclusion, the riparian zone was good but it was filled with invasive species and had slightly eroded banks. There was minimal pollution and many class 1 macro invertabrates.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
We learned a lot about the upkeep of a Shad tank. Although they are both local fish the care for Shad is a little bit different. Shad like a current, trout like stagnant water. Shad are super important because EVERYTHING eats them. Some raptors have even evolved over time to lay their eggs in time for shad season. We saw pictures of something called a "Shad Bush" a shrub that buds right before the shad start hatching.
They even showed us how to set up the tank. When it was over we were informed that the school would contacts us when we are able to participate.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Hey guys! It's your buddy Oscar! I spent this week in France. So far I have visited the Louvre, l'Opera, Musee de la Marine and many more sights! Here's a picture of me near the Eiffel Tower. It was my favorite attraction!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
They said that our trout project has been one of the most successful yet! We are flattered that on our first attempt at this activity we got such a delightful comment! We are also proud to say that our survival rates are off the charts and that we have not had to remove a deceased trout buddy in weeks! A graph demonstrating the trout survival rates in several different environments is coming soon. This is a graph we used to estimate the survival rates for a grant a few months ago.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
We have noticed all our trout have under bites maybe we should call the orthodontist!
Friday, March 13, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
We will be taking more pictures soon and putting them on the blog A.S.A.P.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Their names are Rocky and Wise. Rocky has a roughed up shell, a big appetite, and likes to sleep. Wise likes to be independent and move around a lot. His shell is cleaner and darker than Wise's.
As Mrs. Agner was researching them she was astonished to find that their current living circumstances could possibly make them unhealthy. We need to move them to a larger tank with a lid so we are cleaning out our terrarium for our little buddies. We will also need a UV light and 50/50 substrate with play sand (the kind in sand boxes) and topsoil.
(Pictures coming soon)
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Watch Mrs. Agner's favorite author on her favorite show this week!!!!!
Trevor Corson is judging this week's episode of Iron Chef America, battle "Cora vs. Lahlou," in which he demands that Cat Cora feeds him an eyeball! You can catch the episode at the times listed below!!!!
Iron Chef America, battle "Cora vs. Lahlou" will air:
Mar 05, 20099:00 PM ET/PT
Mar 06, 200912:00 AM ET/PT
Mar 07, 20095:00 PM ET/PT
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Nyckel is thriving in our indoor enviroment. He has a small build and darts around the tank often! :)
We love to hear what you think of Nyckel so please post comments!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
The 6th grade seemed to be particularly interested in our stream table aquarium with our Black Nosed Dace and Crayfish. Untill..................... they saw the trout! All the work we have done with our Native State Fish seemed to really inspire them!
We hope to be exciting a whole new generation of aquaculturists interested in Cold Water Conservation.
P.S. We are still searching for Grant opportunities every day - if anyone has any Grant suggestions we would love to hear about them!! We just recently looked into www.greenworks.org
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
There are many things we must consider before deciding on a date.
Which stream will we release them at?
Is it close enough?
Is it safe and healthy enviroment?
Are they big and healthy enough?
When do we have time for the 45-60 min. procedure?
What materials do we buy to prepare for the release?
And many more. It's never too early to do reseacrh and be prepared.
The location we will release them will be __________________?
To be continued.......!!!!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The trout in the stream off of the Schuykill, Valley Creek, located close to where Washington camped in 1777, are contaminated. A chemical called polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's) was introduced into the stream from a tire factory nearby in the 1980's. Because of this the trout are a danger to humans if we eat them. You may still go fishing but there is a strict catch-release policy.
We will make sure to stock our trout to a clean, safe, and uncontaminated area!
Friday, February 13, 2009
Over the weekend Mrs. Agner is going to look for "clean and healthy" snails for our algae problem!!!
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
Today when we were doing an almost (because of the events we will soon tell you) 5 gallon water change we accidentally sucked up a little trout friend! This does happen quite frequently but it does not usually make a full journey through the syphon to the water bucket before we get it out, well at least not usually alive. When we saw the trout swimming happily around the water bucket we freaked. We could not stick a net through the bucket because there is a bottle neck, we poured out the water into another bucket, where we scooped the trout into the net and into a cup of water. Then we safely brought him (or her) back to the tank. We are sorry there are no pictures of this exciting event but we wanted our baby trout back to his house and within a few minutes that's just where he was!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Most of are trout are dark brown with beautiful sparkling spots but a few are clear and yellowish. We are wondering if a few Golden Trout eggs could have possibly gotten mixed in with our Brook Trout eggs. Although this could just be a great example of differentiation among the species... but we have heard rumors that some of the other Trout in the Classroom participants having received different kinds of eggs - even EEL eggs!! Hmmmmmmmm...........
Look at the difference:
Possible Golden Trout:
Tell us what YOU think!!!!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
We'd like to take this opportunity to thank....................
This Tank Hugger Award goes to Trout Unlimited for periodically visiting our classroom and their generous donations to our cause!
Mr. Savitch and Mrs. Ackerman:
They recieve a Tank Hugger Award because we would like to thank them for teaching us everything about the trout, letting us participatie in this project, replenishing our water supply, and coming in on vacation to be our "Trout Sitters"!
Mrs. Agner: She recieves a Tank Hugger Award for being the Trout Team Advisor, helping us write the grant and planning the blog posts, scheduling water changes, being our personal marine biologist, and so much more!
A Tank Hugger Award goes to her because she made a rotation sign-up which gives every Watershed parent an oppurtunity to donate water to the RMS Watershed Trout Orginization!
Lexus Eco Challenge:
We give them a Tank Hugger Award for inspiring us to challenge ourselves and to make a difference in our watershed!
Without these Tank Huggers none of this would be possible. Thank you all so much!
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
We used a program called Trout in The Classroom as a guideline to raise our trout. Below are links that will help you find information on the program. Trout Unlimited has helped us greatly from supplies to donations to information. You can also check with your states Fish and Wildlife Service.
New Hampshire, Michigan, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and
We now know that Brook Trout eat crustaceans, frogs, amphibians, insects, molluscs, Benthic Macroinvertebrates, smaller fish, small aquatic mammals such as voles, worms and flies in the wild. It is a cycle because some of the amphibians eat the trout fry but when the trout become adults they eat the amphibians.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
"Below the quiet, still pool, deep into the Darby Creek, swam a group of shimmering speckled Brook Trout. One of them was me. I was not raised like any normal fish, I was pretty lucky. My name is Nykel and this is my story."
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
P.S. Nyckel update is coming soon!
Friday, January 9, 2009
On an unrelated note, we did a 10 gallon water change today for our trout and the plants we put in look great!!!! New Pictures are coming soon!!!!
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
Mr. Savitch and Mrs. Ackerman came in almost daily and diligently took care of our responsibilities while we were on break. Without their dedication our little friends wouldn't have made it. However, because we weren't able to be here every day over break the water quality is not as high as we usually keep it. Not to worry though, we are working twice as hard as usual to prepare for a major clean out!!! Unfortunatly we estimate 35 trout died over break; which is around 15% of our trout population. Hopefully we will see a drop in the mortality rate now that we have retuned.
Nyckel fans: he is alive and well! We caught him flipping his fins around and foraging for food!
Our plans for tommorow:
- 30% water change
- major filter cleaning
- hopefully we will be adding freshwater plants soon (to help reduce nitrogen)
- wipe down sides of aquarium because there is slight alagea growth
P.S. Spring water donations are desperatly need and greatly appreciated. Thats all the trout wanted for the holidays! Please make their dream come true!!!
Drop offs are being accepted at the Watershed classroom door on Windermere Ave.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
As part of our action plan we are completing a 30% (16.5 gallons)water change this morning and another 10% water change in the afternoon. Hopefully this will cut the HIGH LEVELS of Nitrites.
Monday, December 22, 2008
As you can see from the picture of this test, our nitrate level is extremely high.
The fishes waste produces ammonia. Our filter has good bacteria in it to decrease the level of ammonia, but when there is to much ammonia the bacteria turns it into nitrates and nitrites. See the Nitrogen Cycle below.
The nitrate and nitrite count should be close to 0ppms but it is .5-1.0ppms which is dangerously high.
"High nitrate levels are especially harmful to fry and young fish, and will affect their growth. Furthermore, conditions that cause elevated nitrates often cause decreased oxygen levels, which further stress the fish."
Plan of Action:
- Tomorrow we are going to do a 40% water change (THE MOST WE HAVE EVER DONE).
- Get some freshwater aquatic plants-live plants use nitrites and help keep nitrates in check.
- We could have been feeding them a little too much because overfeeding is a major factor of increasing waste. We will now be monitoring the food intake even more diligently!
- We are going to do a full clean of the filter before our winter break.