LET THEM LOOSE OR KEEP THEM IN THE NET BREEDER?
Across the state, some school have all their fish still in their breeder baskets while, intentionally and accidentally, other schools have some or all of their fish loose in the tank. What's the best approach?
Here's a question from Jason Gragen at the New Brook School:
Just checking to see if any teachers have "dropped" their net breeders to the bottom of the tank, and have introduced the brookies to the tank?
Yes, some have, Jason. Many of the released fish, especially those that have gotten good at eating, seem to be doing well. If you decide to do it, make sure your filter intake is covered.
And here's Jason's interesting response to me:
Our filter has been covered since the get-go, so we're good there.
The fish appear to be feeding hardy, and swimming strong (especially the ones in the net breeder that was on the aerator-end of the tank).
I think the suggestion to split the eggs up into two, or more net breeders was a great idea.
I did notice that brook trout at the aerator-end of the tank fed before the ones at the calmer end of the tank. Maybe because they were using more energy to navigate the "current" created by the air bubbles.
Once the swim-up stage approached, I did move the net breeder from the aerator-end down to the calmer end so the feed wouldn't swirl around.
I believe that I'm gonna drop the baskets today.
WHAT'S IN THE FISH FOOD?
I got this question last week:
I am working with Dawn Adams with the TIC project. I am doing research with my students, and we are wondering what fish food we are using. The bag you gave us is unlabeled. Any information you can provide is greatly appreciated.
I wrote the company, Skretting, that makes the food we use. They sent me this scan of the label of the type of food we get from the hatchery:
If you can't read that scan's text, let me translate for you.
Lisa Marks, at Ludlow Elementary School, wanted to know:
When can we take the front panel off of the tank?
I passed that on to Chuck Dinkel, TIC coordinator for Maryland, and here's what he said:
The eggs and alevin should not be exposed to UV light during those stages. The guidance we provide teachers is to keep the top on except when feeding and performing maintenance and it is okay to remove the front cover permanently when you release the alevin to the main tank. I don't get overly concerned about "exposing" the eggs or alevin to light for short periods of time. The kids need to be able to observe them. We have had cases where larger fish have jumped out of the tank when the top cover was left off for extended periods of time. And with the cover on it is less likely that something will accidentally get dropped into the tank. In the wild the eggs are covered by gravel and shielded from light until the alevin emerge and start looking for food.
Good to know!
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.