Advice on tank temperature and tank cleanliness, great new photos, and a national TIC quilt project opportunity!
Here's some great advice from Bob Wible:
Hi, Joe. I set the tank temperature at 44 because it seemed that at that setting the water near the eggs was averaging 45 degrees. Going to the DI chart, at 45 degrees 100% hatch would occur on January 24. (When I got eggs on 1/6, the DI was 30.37.) If teachers increased water temperature to 48 degrees on 3/8 and to 52 on 3/9, swim-up should happen around March 13.
Trip Westcott, community volunteer for Proctor Elementary School and Wallingford Elementary School (pictured below) also happens to have decades of experience raising salmon, when he was a teacher at the Lothrop School in Pittsfield.
Here's some advice he's offered about tank and breeder basket cleanliness:
Folks: Get any foam out of the tank and away from young fish. It is egg whites and shell waste. Humans don't live and sleep with their placenta. If left , it will rot and cause bacteria growth. Bail it out with a cup. ANOTHER TEACHER LEFT IT ONCE AND IT BEGAN TO GET STINKY AND KILLED FISH [salmon] . This is especially a problem when they're crowded together in a small basket. In a river it gets flushed downstream.
Below is another report from a Vermont school indicating the risks of dirty breeder baskets. Early Wednesday morning I got this e-mail message from a teacher:
Feeling horrible since we lost 16 fish today, mainly from one of our breeder baskets. I removed 5 gallons of water and replaced it with treated 5 gallons and added 30ml of Nite-Out II. Suggestions?
After reviewing data from the school, I sent this reply:
I'm sorry to hear that. Based on your water chemistry numbers, I would not have expected those deaths. How clean/dirty are the breeder baskets, particularly the one in which most of the deaths occurred?
Here's the teacher's response:
It seemed pretty clean but on closer examination, I think that some of the fish in the "dirty" basket had died a few days ago and therefore affected the health of the breeder basket. I had to spend 30 minutes or so closely observing the alevin to see if they were alive or not. I moved the basket to see if that helped and have removed quite a bit of the dead egg parts from that basket.
Close-up photos from Schoolhouse Learning Center
Danielle Levine, of Schoolhouse Learning Center, sent in this report.
Today we had 3 and a half hatchlings... We found one that still had part of its tail in the egg and was struggling to get out... Here is a video of the struggle:
And here are some pictures I took with my phone camera. The kids thought the eggs were bloody and bleeding until we zoomed in and could see the veins! Very cool!
Ludlow Elementary School report
I also got some great photos from Ludlow Elementary School's Lisa Marks of a visit to her class by community volunteer Kathy Ehlers. Here's what Lisa said:
Kathy visited today. She is so great and I always love how she talks to the kids about so many different things. We learned about transparent animals, bear tracking, trout flies and her trip to Belize.
We are down to 193 babies and we have one with two tails. He is struggling to get around but fun to look at for the moment.
Photos from Mount Holly School
These were provided on 2/1/17 by volunteer Kathy Ehlers.
TIC quilt project--deadline 2/3!
Each year TIC teachers across the country and their students are invited to participate in the national TIC project. Here's an announcement from Tara Granke, national TIC coordinator, of that opportunity.
All each class has to do is decorate quilt squares – 8” x 8” pieces of fabric, usually about 25 total – and send them to the other participating schools. In return, you’ll receive squares from around the country, which you can sew together as seen at http://www.troutintheclassroom.org/tapestry2012.
Note that this year’s theme is SYMBIOSIS.
If you’re interested, sign up via google form by February 3rd. Signing up is a commitment to make and send out the ~25 squares. You’ll have about a month to decorate the squares and write letters to your fellow TIC/SIC classes; squares will be due out to the other schools by March 6th.
Detailed instructions are included in the PDF file attached to this note. That way, if you wanted to get started early on your craft project, you totally can! Remember, this year’s theme is SYMBIOSIS. See the attached file for more information.
A more detailed set of instructions and full mailing list will be sent out by February 8th. This year we are creating quilts that do not need to be washable. This expands the types of media you can use on your quilt. It does not need to be waterproof, but should stand up to many excited students handling the square when they receive it.
To sign up, click here to fill out the form by February 3rd.
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.