Sandycreek students release rainbow trout at Two Mile Run

From staff reports

Sixth-grade students at Sandycreek Elementary saw their hard work finally pay off this Wednesday as they released several rainbow trout into their natural habitat.

The trout had been a student project that lasted the duration of the year, offered through the PA Trout in the Classroom program in Mrs. Hollidge’s science classes.

In Jan., the class received the rainbow trout eggs from the hatchery, and students got the opportunity to watch the trout move through the life cycle of egg, sac fry, swim up fry, fry and fingerling, caring for them accordingly during each life stage.

Students were involved in setting up and establishing a freshwater ecosystem conducive for raising the trout. They also had to established and continuously maintained and monitored bacteria, water temperature and safe levels of nitrates, nitrites, ammonia and pH.

Wednesday’s release was facilitated by the students, as well as teachers Natasha Whitman, Bill Burk and Eva Hollidge, taking place at Two Mile Run park. Barry Wilson from Oil Creek Trout Unlimited was also there to help students with the process.

After a successful release, students met with Bailey Cozalla from Venango Conservation District to participate in a macroinvertebrates and water quality index activity. Students ventured into the creek to collect water samples, then returned to record the living organisms within their samples. Some of the living organisms students discovered included small fish, crayfish, salamanders and various flies (such as mayflies).