Trout in the Classroom: Connecting students to their watersheds

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Through a Williams Foundation grant, and the volunteer efforts of Environmental Specialist Kevin Yokum, Williams has supported the Trout in the Classroom conservation project for several years, purchasing  trout equipment and providing volunteers for the classroom. Trout in the Classroom (TIC), administered nationally by non-profit Trout Unlimited,  offers students a chance to raise trout from eggs in aquariums within their classroom through May, when they head to nearby Holly River in West Virginia and release the fish. Students learn about trout biology, feeding habitats, water quality, pollution, pH, and impacts that external factors have on stream ecology, creating a concrete connection between caring for the fish and caring for the water.

In addition to his classroom teaching, Kevin participated with 4 elementary schools for TIC field day, held May 6 at Holly River State Park, WV.  Close to 70 fifth graders participated in the program and attended the event this year to release their fingerlings into the cold streams.

WV State Parks, WV Division of Environmental Protection, WV Division of Natural Resources, WVU extension 4-H, and Williams set up learning stations for the students during the stocking event. Williams presentation covered sediment control, pipeline safety, how to identify a pipeline right of way, and how a pipeline works (pressure). A rocket launcher is used to illustrate how pressure moves gas through a pipeline and is usually the coolest highlight of the event each year. This year was no different.

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