Over the last three days, numerous reports have come in, mostly from southern schools, all indicating that things are going well in many Vermont TIC classrooms.
Rutland High School's Dawn Adams wrote:
I checked on them three times this vacation. They are fine and not swimming up. I am looking forward to water testing tomorrow to see how the tank is cycling.
Jenn Tifft, at Middletown Springs School, gave this brief report and sent the following picture.
They are looking good. A few are starting to make the trek upward. Here is a not so great picture looking down into the tank.
Keith Harrington of Poultney Elementary School said:
Mine are doing outstanding. Many of them are coming up and looking for food. They are growing like weeds. I checked on them during vacation a couple of times, as did Amy. We had no casualties. I guess the next step is how many learn to eat and how many pinheads we have.
Seth Bonnett, Manchester Elementary and Middle School, reported:
We are doing well with our fry. We have had only about 15-20 that have not made it so far. We are seeing some swim up, but the majority of them are still just hanging out at the bottom.
Archie Clark of Benson Village School contributed this:
I just wanted to let you know that many of the fry are swimming to the top of the breeder nets, we have started feeding just tiny pinches and watching for 5 minutes at a time or so, they have not seemed to take to the food much, but we will continue to monitor closely. The kids were excited to see how much they developed over the break.
Ludlow Elementary School's Lisa Marks wrote this:
They look great. I did offer less than a pinch of food to them this morning (2/22) just to see if they would come up to feed, but not one did so that made feel a little better. The date for swim up is scheduled for 2/2, but I feel like it could happen anytime. For the most part it looks like the sacs have disappeared but there seems to be a small bump where the larger sac was before so my guess is there a little left. A few of them definitely swim up but they don't seem to be able to stay up. Is this normal? Are they technically fry now or are they fry when they feed? It is getting exciting.
In one of our baskets the fish are staying at the top until I lift the cover. Then they shoot to the bottom. I have put the smallest amount (pinch of food) in that I can. How do you know if they are actually eating it?
In response, I said "You'll see them (a) coming right to the surface and (b) kind of snapping at the food."
Jim Mirenda sent this photo from the Dorset School:
Castleton Village School's Guy Merolle reported this:
Looking good! Just got back from break and I don't see any dead at first glance. Some are swimming up, but were not interested in food yet.
Temp is still set at 50, plus or minus a few decimals at any given time. Our development chart is up to date. Here it is: (Click the link below to see Guy's whole TIC Web site or the link that will take you to a YouTube video of Guy's fry.)
Ed Robbins, Mill River Union High School, responded:
Mine still have their yolk sacs so far, and we only lost 3 over break which was a huge relief!
Poultney High School's Kaitlin Grote said her alevin/fry were
good, they are getting bigger and swimming more.
Finally, Steve Flint, of Mary Hogan School, wrote:
Hey, Joe. When you get a minute check out my blog post from today (2/22). There is a video (along with a few pictures) of our 2-headed trout. We were able to get about 200 students to see the trout under a microscope on Friday before break (it started as just the 3rd grade but once word got out everybody HAD to see it).
Joe Mark, Lead Facilitator, Vermont Trout in the Classroom
In June 2012, I retired after 40 years in higher education, having spent the last 32 years of my career as dean at Castleton. One of the first things I volunteered to do in retirement was to work with Jim Mirenda to help the Dorset School, where his kids and my Vermont grandkids attend, start a TIC program. Gradually that commitment grew into my current role, which is both demanding and highly rewarding.