Wakefield Country Day School’s sixth-grade class is participating this academic year in the “Trout in the Classroom” program. The effort is being led by teachers Margaret DiDomenico and Jeff Perry.
The “Trout in the Classroom” program began in New York and has made its way across many of the eastern states. In Virginia, it’s a cooperative project among a local school, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF), Dominion Power and Trout Unlimited.
Participating schools, like Wakefield, receive brook trout eggs in late September and raise the trout that hatch through early spring. At that time, they are released into a suitable local stream.
State government official Chuck Hoysa delivered the trout eggs to the school Sept. 29 and helped get them into the aquarium in the sixth-grade classroom.
Wakefield’s students received perhaps as many as 150 trout eggs. The eggs hatched within a week of their arrival and are growing every day. The student group hopes to have more than 100 young trout when the process is finished.
“We’re looking for a local stream now where we can release the trout,” said Perry. It’s likely to be on private property, perhaps in the vicinity of a lake or a park.”
The sixth-graders are studying trout habitat, stream chemistry, watershed management and other related topics during the time that the trout are being raised. Additionally, the trout project is integrated into all other sixth-grade subjects.