Dead trout post mortem
Erik Anderson, of Chelsea School sent this message on April 26:
Here is a picture taken by Chelsea 6th grader Maddy Rooney. In each photo you can see the lump on the underside of the trout. The coloration of the lump was very similar to that of the eggs as they were in later stages of development. This lead the students to hypothesize that the lump was an undeveloped twin.
We are not sure how long the fish was dead in the tank. Possibly 3 or 4 days. We discovered it while using the siphon to clean the gravel. The little particles surrounding the fish were stuck to the fish when we retrieved it from the siphon. My guess is that these are either yeast or bacteria colonies.
Further update on Chelsea trout: They all survived April vacation and are significantly larger than when we left. Today we gave them their first taste of macro-invertebrates and they responded vigorously.
Below is one of the pictures Maddy took.
Thanks for the great photo, Maddy!
In response, I sent Erik's report and photo to Green Mountain College Professor Meriel Brooks, who kindly replied with the following.
It's really hard to tell what that might be. I think of things like tumors and parasites when I see lumps on fish. Usually fungi are lighter in color, and the color itself looks like the little fish's melanophores (pigment cells). You might be able to determine with a microscope (dissecting scope). It's likely to be a tumor of some sort. The tan stuff is also hard to determine--resolution is not good enough--both bacteria and yeast would be likely suspects. I assume those grew after the fish died.
Guy Merolle's students at the Castleton Village School gave a wonderful series of presentations based on their research into diverse characteristics of the Castleton River, which flows east-to-west just north of their school campus.
They addressed the following topics:
Here are a few slides from the CVS student presentations.
A visit to Orvis
On 4/27, Ludlow Elementary School's Lisa Marks and her students tacked on a visit to the Orvis "flagship store" in Manchester to a school field trip to Hildene. Here's Lisa's report:
Yesterday we were down at Hildene Farms, taking part in a one-room-school-house program and on a whim decided to call Orvis to see if we could stop in. They were more than happy to have us stop by. They gave us a bucket of food to feed the trout, talked with us about the fish, let the kids look at flies, and offered their restrooms which meant having kids walk around the store a bit. They were extremely welcoming, and the kids had such a good time. The best part is that we didn't lose anyone in the trout pond!
The fish in our tank are doing great!
Here are some pictures Lisa sent me.
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.