Fish and Wildlife students hooked on real-world learning

January 31, 2020
students releasing trout in stream

Students in the Fish and Wildlife class at Stillwater Area High School are getting real-world experience with trout and trout streams through the support of a variety of community partnerships.

Through the Minnesota Trout in the Classroom project and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR), students are learning hands-on about trout embryology, growth and development, nutrition, and water quality. The have been raising rainbow trout fertilized eggs since December. Once the fish are fingerling size this spring they will be released into Brown’s Creek as part of the MN DNR’s management plan.

Last fall volunteers from Minnesota Trout Unlimited brought fresh samples of aquatic organisms into the classroom to give students hands-on experience with identifying common macroinvertebrates.

That was followed up with a field trip to Brown’s Creek where staff from the Washington Conservation Service and the Brown’s Creek Watershed District assisted students as they collected samples of macroinvertebrates and other data to evaluate the stream water quality for trout habitat. Students then identified organisms in the samples and calculated a pollution tolerance index of water quality which was compared to historical data.