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Forest Park Trout in Classroom Project

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Forest Park Trout in Classroom Project Completed

This year, Erich Zieglerís Crystal Falls Forest Park Science classes participated in the schoolís first Trout in the Classroom Project. On Wednesday May 12 the trout were planted in nearby Fortune Trout Pond (photos attached). Stocking the 3 inch long trout fingerlings culminated a unique classroom experience where rainbow trout eggs were obtained and then hatched out in the class room last fall. The resulting trout fingerlings were reared in a large chilled aquarium in the classroom though out the winter and spring. This project featured the sixth grade science class although several of Erichís Science classes from 6th up through 12th grade High School students participated in the rearing.

The DNR offers support for Chinook salmon in the classroom although they do not have any program for trout. Mr. Ziegler thought that trout would be more relevant to the students at Forest Park, since they are surrounded by nearby Blue Ribbon Trout Streams and good trout lakes. Most of his students fish for trout but do not get the opportunity to go out on Lake Michigan to fish for Chinook salmon. With austere budgets the buss ride for the students to help plant the fingerlings for a long distance (to Great Lakes) would also be cost prohibitive.

Mr. Ziegler obtained funding for this project from Trans Canada Pipeline Co. through Wildlife Unlimited of Iron County. He also received major support with the trout from the Watersmeet Trout Hatchery. Ziegler developed his own trout curriculum to allow the students to learn all the aspects of raising trout and then maintaining local trout fisheries with them. The students thoroughly enjoyed this project and it helped them develop a life long ecological appreciation and sense of resource stewardship. Fortune Trout Pond was developed by the DNR and local Sports groups as a youth oriented easily accessible trout fishery. It seems appropriate that students reared trout to put back into this popular trout fishery.

Bill Ziegler