Frank Smith of the National Capital Chapter of Trout Unlimited arranged to have 150 fertilized trout eggs delivered to biology teacher Melanie Fields on Thursday, January 6. Her biology classes will be studying the early lifecycle of trout by observing and recording their hatching and growth rates in a tank located in the hallway just outside her classroom.
In May, the young trout will be released into selected Maryland streams. There are presently 33 classrooms involved in Trout Unlimited's regional "Trout-in-the-Classroom" program. Sidwell Friends is the first D.C. classroom to join the program.
Trout Unlimited is a national nonprofit organization, recently celebrating its 50th anniversary, dedicated to conserving, protecting, and restoring North America's coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. The local chapter loaned the school the chiller and high-flow filter for the first year of the project. To continue the project next year, the school will have to raise the money for the equipment.
The trout eggs that were delivered to the school are from a hatchery along the Columbia River in the Seattle area. They are “stay-put fish”—they will not migrate when they are released in June to a river in northern Maryland. To check on the latest from the trout tank, contact Melanie Fields.