Trout in the Classroom

 We had a very successful season of TIC field days at Schramm Park (AkSarBen Aquarium) assisting with the kids fishing for pan fish and bass using spinning gear.  

Nebraska Trout Unlimited worked with the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission Fisheries Division and provided up to $2000 to kick-start the Trout in the Classroom (TIC) Program in 2013 .  The TIC program is an innovative way to teach our youth about the importance of clean and healthy water.  We renewed our commitment in 2014 with an additional pledge of $6000 ($2000 over the three years, 2014-2016). and repeated this pledge again in 2017, for an additional $2000 per year for three years. With our additional commitment, the NGPC was able to secure additional funding from the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET) to expand the program.  There are now 50 Nebraska schools participating and our donation will help increase that number in the future.

An article in the October 2014 issue of Nebraskaland magazine featured the Trout in the Classroom project in Nebraska.  We are proud to be a part of it and to share this article with you.

 The magazine article can be found here

In the Fall 2015 issue of Fish Tales, a publication of the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission targeting volunteer Aquatic Education Instructors, the TIC Coordinator, Lindsey Chizinski, highlighted the TIC successes in 2015: 

- over 1,100 students in 24 schools actively participating

- 22 schools participating in trout release field trips with c.100 students each field day

- field trip activities included: fishing, microinvertebrate collection, fly-casting training, fly-tying, lure making, fish disections, nature hikes, aquarium tours and live animal presentations.

- over 400 hours of volunteer fishing instructors to support TIC field days.  TU 710 members, along with Cornhusker Fly Fishers and other volunteers assisted in these field trips in April & May of 2015.  Thanks to all who lent a hand.

There are few rewards more satisfying than helping a youngster catch his/her first fish.  Please consider joining fellow TU 710 volunteers by becoming a NGPC volunteer Aquatic Education Instructor.

As each class wraps up the growing season for their trout, the NGPC hosts a field day where the school children stock their juvenile trout.  Refer to the Education Opportunities tab on the left side of the page for dates, times, and venues for the TIC Field Days coming up in 2016.  We need your help, so please volunteer to help.  Thank you.

Gene Kathol, TU Chapter 710 Education Chair

May 23, 2017

 

March 17, 2015  We received a bit of an update from the TIC Coordinator at NGPC, Lindsey Chizinski.  It really gives a closer view into the value of the TIC program, so her correspondence is shared with you below.

I just wanted share a comment from one of this year’s teachers, shared on the NE TIC wordpress site… Pretty awesome! Also, please take a quick look at the site. Tori’s doing a bang up job with it! https://troutintheclassroomnebraska.wordpress.com/

"Well, my little fishlings are looking more like a trout. It was humorous and no doubt humiliating to watch an alevin fight its way to the top of the tank only to drop quickly to the bottom with its bulbous yolk sac. The students continue to hang around the tank when it’s open and are keeping a good eye on the development. We have completed a few of the exercises in the book and have done some drawings and journaling. We have the three science classes checking pH, nitrites, and ammonia levels on somewhat of a schedule. I slipped in today and the pH was 8.2, the ammonia 0, nitrites 0, and nitrates 5. I have not done a water change but you would be proud, I sucked up 3 wierdly developed alevin. The critters appear quite healthy. Mostly, they pack up under the chiller tube and filter but I blew them around with the baster to unearth any that needed to be removed. Earlier, we took a few and observed them under the microscope. Amazing, blood pumping, transparent dorsal and caudin fins evident. The kids were absorbed. I am heading your warning not to start feeding them yet. They still have a little belly to absorb. One of my personal goals the last two years has been to catch a fish. I finally did last summer, two catfish. Now, with my new found knowledge on barbels, spines, adipose, anal fins and other learnings, ‘look out Lake Mac!” I hope to do a little more work on the anatomy of a fish next week. It is a bit of a time factor weaving this curriculum into my regular science curriculum."

Lindsey Chizinski Fisheries Biologist, Youth Fishing Program Nebraska Game and Parks Commission 2200 N 33rd Street Lincoln, NE 68503 #402-471-5591