In April of 2015, The School District of Chilton was awarded a grant from the Chilton Community Foundation to begin a Trout in the Classroom program. TIC is a nationally recognized program and curriculum facilitated by Trout Unlimited that is designed to make connections from classroom learning into the natural environment. Since February 2016, we have been maintaining two separate 55 gallon aquariums (one at the middle school and one at the high school) containing Brown Trout fry. Students have been responsible for water quality tests, feeding, and water changes. Through the process, students are not only learning biology but also developing environmental awareness. Our hope and goal is that students will better understand the interconnectedness of our world and become future stewards of the special places on Earth like trout streams.
The science department, Fox Valley Trout Unlimited, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and Tim Sohrweide (local landowner) are working to coordinate a trout release field trip. We plan to continue this relationship and may also consider stream improvement at this site in the future. We are tentatively planning to release our trout into Stony Brook near Chilton in Calumet County on April 29th 2016. Along with the actual release, we will be doing water quality testing, micro-invertebrate samples, fly casting, and possible shock testing on Stony Brook. We plan to continue working together with all our stakeholders in the years to come and may also incorporate stream improvement into our program at Stony Brook.
This project has been a dream and a goal that I’ve had for over a decade. I wanted to combine two of my passions; working with students and my love for outdoor beautiful places. I am very excited that my dream may soon be a reality! I would like to take this opportunity to thank some of the many people and organizations that are making it become possible. Thanks to the Chilton Community foundation for the start-up funds. Thanks to School District of Chilton Science Department (my science geek buddies), Greg Sromek, Tracy Bartels, and Brittany Mayer for taking a risk with a crazy trout bum school counselor and undertaking a huge learning curve. Thanks to Joe Bach and Fox Valley Trout Unlimited for technical support and enthusiasm. Thanks to Adam Nickel and Steve Fajfer of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for advice and being our liaison with the state. Finally, thanks to Tim Sohrweide for allowing us access to the property along Stony Brook.
If you are interested in finding more about “Trout in the Classroom” and the opportunities it can provide students, Go to: www.Troutintheclassroom.org