Ninth grade biology students plan to attend field trip

Trout in the classroom field trip.


Jessica Hogan

One trout remains in the aquarium in the classroom awaiting release day.

Jocelyn Fetter , Opinion editor

 On May 25, Jessica Hogan will be escorting her ninth grade biology students on a field trip. They will release the trout they have hatched this school year at the Henrietta Sportsmen’s Club. This is all set up under a program called Trout in the Classroom (TIC).

TIC is a nationwide program led by Trout Unlimited and state government agencies.  We set up a tank and filters and chiller for the trout to live in and observe them in the tank from egg to hatchling to swim up fry to fingerling,” Hogan said

“The fish have helped me realize how important they are to our community and how they are affected by things we do,” ninth grade biology student Nick Lauver said.

Hogan has been doing this trip since the 2008-2009 school year.

“I try to relate a lot of the classroom work to the trout.  We did punnett squares with trout characteristics, and when we discuss ecology we discuss the trout struggle to survive.  I think the trout are a good example of biology in action,” Hogan said. “The point of the trip is for students to see the importance of their actions on cold water conservation and how they live their lives can impact the ecology of the world.” 

On the trip there are six educational stations.  

“One station studies macro-invertebrates which can determine the health of a stream.  One station has students test the water quality. Another has students learn how to tie flies on a hook.  And in addition to a great picnic, there is always time for students to fish or hike and just enjoy nature,” Hogan said.

“I’m excited to take the day off of school and spend the day with my friends while fishing,” ninth grade biology student Parker Cumming said.

Hogan is the only teacher in the building that participates with Trout in the Classroom.

“The best part about having trout in the classroom is every day is a learning experience! Just observing the trout and maintaining their habitat gives kids such a great idea of how fragile our ecosystem is and how we can impact it, also for me is getting kids interested in something in the natural world outside of social media and video games!” Hogan said.  “The hardest part is keeping them alive!!! this has not been a very successful year for our program.  Every year prior to this one there have been over 100 trout at this point of the year. This year we are sadly down to two trout. Having started with 500 eggs, it’s been hard to keep the habitat in near perfect conditions and yet still lose trout.” 

Hogan has enjoyed her working with the program.

“There are so many advantages to having trout in my classroom that I can’t limit it to one! Students getting to be outside for a whole day in a place where there’s no interference from technology is a huge positive! I’ve seen students understanding of ‘book work’ come to life on this trip.  I also have seen students make lifelong memories fishing and hiking the property. Students have helped other students fish for the first time or look at the macroinvertebrates like dobsonfly larvae that show how healthy the Clover Creek is. Lastly, I couldn’t do this trip without the help of Mrs. Wendle, Mrs. Shultz, Mrs. Tini and Mr. Peterman.  Their assistance in Henrietta is invaluable,” Hogan said.

“I’m excited to have someone teach me how to fish,” ninth grade biology student Alison Geist said.

“I’d like to see at least one in every school. I truly think it enhances the learning in class,” Hogan said.