The egg deliveries begin!
After months of anticipation, many of our schools got their eggs earlier this week; most of the rest will get theirs before the week is out.
Here's Bob Wible's report on January 4 deliveries to TIC schools supported by the Central Vermont Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
Thanks to Paul Urband, Landon Dennison, Dick Giard, Frank Hagerty, Barry Parker, John Quinn, Chuck Goller, Jack Price, and Syl Stemple, 3,200 eggs were delivered to 30 schools in five counties. These generous individuals have volunteered their time to a very important Trout Unlimited program. Now the fun starts with the students getting involved and maybe finding a connection to their watersheds.
Ingenuity in Hartland
You may recall the urgent plea for help, back in December, sent out by Tiffany Tucker, of Hartland Cooperative Nursery School, when she discovered that one of the metal joints of her tank--where the crossbar in the middle of the top of the tank met the side of the frame--was coming apart. As a result, the sides of her tank were starting to bulge outward. Yikes! Here's what that joint looked like.
Well, I'm pleased to report that Tiffany came up with a great and inexpensive solution. First she tried using silicone cement, but that didn't work. Then she became more creative. Below you'll find a slideshow of three photos that illustrate what Tiffany's repaired tank now looks like.
Two of our southwestern Vermont schools don't yet have their chillers operating, so two area teachers and their students have volunteered to "egg-sit" for these classes. As a result, on Friday when we deliver eggs to 23 of our 26 schools, two of those schools won't be getting any eggs--yet!--and two schools will be getting double-batches of eggs. Thanks to Seth Bonnett and Melissa Rice, of Manchester Elementary and Middle School, and to Guy Merolle, at Castleton Village School, and to their students for taking good care of a neighboring school's eggs.
Pick your temperature plan!
Please review the discussion in the 12/18/17 blog about picking a temperature to use as your trout move through the egg, alevin, and fry stages. You may recall that we are encouraging that you choose--and stick to--one of three options.
Option 1: Cool and slow (especially for southern Vermont schools receiving eggs on 1/12)
The goal of this approach is to prevent your fish from swimming up while you're away on your (comparatively early) winter break and to have them swim up after you and your students are back in school. Here's what you should do:
Option 2: Cool and slow (especially for north-central and northwestern Vermont schools receiving eggs on 1/4)
The goal of this approach is to prevent your fish from swimming up while you're away on February break and to have them swim up after you and your students are back in school. Here's what you should do:
Option 3: Warm and quick (especially for north-central and northwestern Vermont schools receiving eggs on 1/4)
The goal of this approach is to get your fish swimming up before your February break. Here's what you should do:
My local stream today
As often as I can, I visit a local stream to see what it looks like. (You may want to do the same. If you do, please send me any photos you take,) While I drove past a few small streams completely encased in a snow-and-ice cocoon, the Castleton River nearest my house looks like this. (Kinda makes you want to get out into nature, doesn't it?)
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.