Trout in the Classroom (TIC)

My name is Bob DeGraff. Our Trout in the Classroom (TIC) program is one of the best things I’ve seen happen to any school system in a long time! Last year, Highland Park High School participates released over 200 healthy 2 to 3 inch fish into our designated stream.

 

Gary Borger chapter donated the 70 gallon tanks we use.  After a rigorous cleaning process, an environment is created for the eggs.  The water is chilled to 50 degrees.  The students are responsible for maintaining the tank’s environment, assuring it is healthy for the trout.  The water is tested for pH level, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

 

The eggs stay protected for a few weeks in a small hatching cage suspended in the tank. Then, the small hatchlings are released into the larger tank. These fish are just like babies and they depend on us to feed them and clean up after them.  The feeding is the fun part but we have to be careful that we don’t feed them too much especially when they are very small. The clean-up might not be as fun as the feeding but it is just as important and really isn’t all that bad especially when we all take turns helping out.  Testing the water is the third part of caring for these little creatures and is as important as any of the other two needs of our fish.  The very best part about raising these trout happens in early spring.  Unlike caring for a pet at home whether it is a dog or cat or bird or any other kind of animal, the trout are not ours to keep. These are wild fish and we will be releasing them back into the nature where they will swim wild and free in Lake Michigan until it is time for them to come back to the river that we release them into to start another generation of trout.

 

See the Photo Gallery for pictures of each step in the Trout in the Classroom Program.

2017-2018 Classrooms include 2 tanks in Waukegan H.S., 2 tanks in Highland Park,         2 tanks in Wheeling H.S., 1 tank in Deerfield H.S., and 1 tank in the Ravinia Elementary School

If you are interested in learning more about the Gary Borger Trout in the Classroom Program or in volunteering with the program, please contact Bob DeGraff at b.degraff@comcast.net

 

TIC complete document.docx