Montrose AP Bio students release trout
BY STACI WILSON
Since November students in the Montrose Area High School AP Biology course have been raising fish.
With about 60 survivors from 400 eggs, the small, brook trout were released into Fall Brook Creek in Franklin Twp. by the students on Thursday.
Robert Fearnley of the Susquehanna County Conservation District told the students that both Fall Brook and Silver Creek, which converge at Salt Springs State Park, are rated as exceptional value streams in Pennsylvania and were both approved for trout stocking – the little fish were getting a good home.
AP Bio student Nicki Lewis said the class was responsible for feeding the fish, checking the water for nitrates and removing the dead fish.
Teacher Teri Evans said that when they introduced a living bacteria to the water the tank stabilized, resulting in the loss of fewer fish.
“(The bacteria) established a nitrogen cycle in the tank,” Fearnley explained.
But Fearnley said 60 was a good number of survivors. Some schools around the state that also participated in the program ended up with none.
The Trout in the Classroom program was sponsored by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission in conjunction with Trout Unlimited. The conservation district provided a grant to pay for some of the equipment.
The students carried the buckets of fish to the stream bank where they released them into the creek.
Fearnley said, “Trout are not a schooling fish,” describing them as a “lone wolf predator” he said they would find a niche they can call their own.
And that was one of the class tag lines for the project.
Courtney Kimmel came up with, “Helping fish find their niche” and “That’s what we’re all a’trout” – the saying written on the back of the tie-dye shirts worn by the students for the release.