NEW HAVEN — Today was Egg Day at New Haven Elementary School.
Students at the school will monitor over 100 brown trout eggs for the next six months, studying them as they hatch, grow and change, until it’s time to release them as young fish into a nearby creek.
This project, said 4th-grade teacher Shayla Blackshire, is part hands-on learning about how living things develop, part conservation study.
“The whole idea is clean streams,” said Blackshire. “”If the water isn’t clean, will the trout survive? No.”
“The students will check for the pH in the water and the ammonia levels,” added Ted Klingensmith. “They’ll learn to make sure the water conditions are right, and the temperature and everything.”
Klingensmith, who works for the company Trout Unlimited, delivered round 150 eggs to the school Monday morning. He said that he’s going to monitor the program and help the school in any way necessary.
“It’s their first year,” Klingensmith said, “So I’m here to guide them through it.”
He said that these fish are replacing trout species that have become extinct in this area in recent years.
“There used to be a lot of native trout,” said Klingensmith. “We’re replenishing what’s missing.”
Klingensmith added that the eggs are “eyed,” meaning that they have developed eyes and are getting ready to hatch and move into the second developmental stage over the next couple of weeks.
The Department of National Resources will let Trout Unlimited and the school know the release location closer to the release date. It’s usually within an hour’s drive, said Klingensmith.
United Rentals paid for all equipment needed for the program. Equipment consisted of, among other things: a tank, a high-powered pump, and insulation to maintain a constant cool temperature.
“The eggs have to stay between 50 and 55 degrees in order to develop correctly,” said Blackshire. “We’re learning so many different things. One thing about this is that because it’s on the web we can share the project with other schools and school districts. “
The eggs, as they develop, are visible online via a live-feed Ustream video. To view the video and find more information about the project itself, visit New Haven Elementary’s homepage at http://www.edline.net/page/New_Haven_Elementary_School, and click on the “Trout in the Classroom” link.