Elizabethtown Area High School’s Aquatics Resources class recently helped the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stock local streams to help ensure a successful trout season for local fishermen.
Working alongside Officer Jeffrey Schmidt, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s waterways conservation officer for Lancaster County, the students released rainbow and brown trout into local streams including the Conoy Creek in Bainbridge and the Little Chiques Creek at Cove Outlook Park in Mount Joy.
At the Little Chiques, the students also released 35 Brook Trout that they raised from eggs in the school’s specially designed Aquatics Lab. The project was part of the Trout in the Classroom Program sponsored by Trout Unlimited and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. The students received the eggs on Nov. 7, 2018, and placed them in a cold-water tank specially designed for raising trout.
The tank contained special equipment that maintained the water temperature at 54 degrees, provided oxygen-rich water, and circulated the water in a way that mimicked a cold-water mountain stream. The tank and equipment were made possible by an Elizabethtown Area Education Foundation Grant. Over the next six months the students studied Brook Trout biology, growth, feeding, and habitat requirements. On release day, the fish measured 5 inches in length.