As teacher and avid fly fisherman Dave Mueller took a class at Mary Baldwin College this summer entitled “Trout in the Classroom,” he knew the concept was something he had to help bring back to Glenvar science classrooms in the fall.
With the help of the local Trout Unlimited Chapter, science teacher Charles Filer, and Mueller, earth science and biology students at Glenvar High School will help hatch and care for trout eggs, then release them next spring.
“The cool thing about it is that I’ll use that as a learning tool all year long … to teach water quality and fish life cycles,” Filer said. “If we can get them to make the connection within their community and develop relationships with some of the partners, it’s a win-win for everybody,” he added. Students will get to meet and work with Trout Unlimited members, like one of Glenvar’s liaisons, Karl Miller.
http://www.tu.orgThe eggs will be picked up from the Paint Bank Hatchery in early October, and they’ll be cared for by GHS students and science teachers as they hatch and turn into fingerlings (also called fry and guppies) within the next 6 months. The tank must be kept around a chilly 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the tank clean through filtering and vacuuming, and the fish must have plenty of oxygen. Dead or dying fish have to be removed, and pH levels and the temperature have to be closely watched—it’s not a simple task!
In the spring, the trout will be released into streams approved by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. The idea is to foster native species, however, not to simply provide more fish for fishermen.
“It’s about restoration,” Mueller said. He’s got a few ideas of where he wants to release the brook trout—mostly in places like Roaring Run where the species is nearly nonexistent. Brook trout are what’s known as an indicator species. Like the canary in the coal mine, they’re the first to show duress if their environment is faltering.
Two other classrooms in the Roanoke Valley will foster trout fingerlings: Mary Lupsha’s at Roanoke Catholic School and Marilee Weikel’s at Hidden Valley Middle School.
OTHER RECENT GLENVAR COVERAGE
* Sept. 4: Glenvar’s Megan Marsico leads pack at cross-country meet
* Sept. 3: Both Glenvar volleyball teams win against Craig County.
* Aug. 29: Glenvar volleyball JVs defeat Lord Botetourt
* Aug. 28: Volleyball team hosts dodgeball tournament
* Photos of Glenvar’s fall sports teams