Trout in the Classroom

Trout in the Classroom is a program developed by TU to teach students about trout and their habitats as well as to learn about conservation and ecosystems.

TIC allows students to grow trout from eggs to fingerlings.  Along the way, students learn important lessons about water quality, stream habitat, conservation, and ecosystem connectivity, regardless of whether they are fly fishers or not. Teachers have included it into almost every subject in school, from using math to calculate how much food to give the young fry, to teaching English composition by writing essays on conservation issues affecting trout habitat.

TIC was started by Trout Unlimited nearly 20 years ago in New York State.  It started with 4 classrooms in 1997, and now New York has over 200 such programs.  It is gaining popularity in Wisconsin with a handful of classrooms participating.

Trout in the Classroom (TIC) is an environmental education program in which students in grades k-12. . .

  • raise trout from eggs to fry.
  • monitor tank water quality.
  • engage in stream habitat study.
  • learn to appreciate water resources.
  • begin to foster a conservation ethic.
  • grow to understand ecosystems.


TIC Update – Mar 2020

As you recall, in order to streamline the process for the increasingly popular Wisconsin Trout in the Classroom (TIC) programs, the WIDNR agreed to handle all the fish farm paperwork and ship eggs, for free, from a state hatchery this year. In principle, this made things much easier, but our eggs did not like the UPS shipping treatment and we think that contributed to a high rate of stillborn alevin death that was observed in all eight schools. We had never seen this before. In discussing the issue with the hatchery manager, he said that when the eggs are close to hatching, they are very susceptible to injury; our eggs hatched only two days after delivery.

With any new process there is a learning curve and we will make plans for direct pickup from the hatchery next year. Nonetheless, all classes had alive alevin and they have now released the resulting fry from the egg basket into the tank at large. The kids are all very excited to see the rapid changes from egg to alevin to fry, and now they get to feed the fish which is a daily highlight! The kids are doing well monitoring the temperature and nitrate levels in the tank, ensuring that the remaining fish stay healthy. — Greg Olson

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