Tragedies north and south
One of our northern tanks had a devastating die-off over the last two weeks. On March 9, they had one "barely moving" fish left. Since the class didn't keep data records, we really haven't been able to determine what caused the die-off. If I had to guess, I'd say that the swim-up stage was missed, but it could have been unrecorded ammonia or nitrite spikes or even the inadvertent addition of a toxin to the tank. The good news is that Bob Wible will be arranging for some replacement fry, so the students should be able to complete the project.
It's not hard to explain what happened at Ludlow Elementary School. The area got two feet of heavy, wet snow last Thursday, which knocked out the school's electrical power and, of course, shut down the chiller. Even the custodians weren't able to get back to the school quickly, and certainly teacher Lisa Marks was unable to. When Lisa did arrive on Friday morning, however, she immediately noticed "the sound of silence." Oh, no! She rushed to the tank only to discover that all her fish were dead. Yesterday I put out a plea to southwestern Vermont TIC teachers, asking if they might be willing to donate some fry to the Ludlow Elementary School cause. I also urged any teacher who might consider donating fish to confer with the students about doing so. The discussion would be valuable early exposure for the children to the concept of philanthropy.
Lessons to be learned
These unfortunate developments remind us of three key points to remember.
TIC humor at the Bridge School
Jen Grilly sent me this photo of a "shark" hungrily eyeing the fry in their tank. Yummm!
Quilt squares at Proctor
Here's a picture Danielle Fagan sent me of the Proctor Elementary School 5th graders with the TIC quilt squares they're about to send off to schools around the country.
Summer opportunities for teachers and students
I recently learned about a summer workshop for teachers that will be put on by the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife this July.
As you can see, the hands-on course runs from July 15 to July 20 and will take place at Buck Lake Conservation Camp north of Woodbury Village. The tuition of $650 covers the course, books, food, and overnight accommodations. A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Contact Alison Thomas [email@example.com] for a course description, schedule of activities, and registration information. (Click the image above to link to the F&W Web site for the course.)
Every year the Fish and Wildlife Department organizes a "conservation camp" for youth. This year's program consists of two different weeklong sessions for boys and girls ages 12 to 16. There is both a northern site and a southern site. The cost is $250. Some scholarships are available. Click the image below to go to the F&W Web site for more information.
More for students
Each year, Vermont Trout Unlimited sponsors Trout Camp for Teens. The five-day program is open to boys and girls 13 to 16 years of age. It will take place from June 24 to June 28 at Jackson's Lodge in the Northeast Kingdom. All-inclusive tuition is $450.
The program focuses both on fly fishing technique and fish biology, fish habitat, and stream ecology. Equipment is provided.
Deadline for application is April 15, 2018. Click on the image above to access the Vermont TU Trout Camp Web site for additional information, including a link to the application form.
Photo of Jackson's Lodge (to the right).
Emma Vastola, of Mount Holly School, sent me this video of her alevin on March 7.
Joe Mark is Lead Facilitator of Vermont's Trout in the Classroom program.
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 a parent-friend 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.