LAKE ARIEL —Students in the gifted program at the Evergreen Elementary School had the opportunity to raise rainbow trout from eggs until they were able to be released.
Part of the Trout in the Classroom (TIC) program, Evergreen Elementary School participated in conjunction with the Wayne Conservation District.
TIC is an interdisciplinary program that introduces cold water conservation education in Pennsylvania by raising rainbow trout, a native cold water special to fingerlings. Throughout the school year, the students monitored aquarium water quality and trout behavior and cared for the trout on a daily basis.
The program is designed to foster awareness and knowledge about cold water conservation, management and recreation programs.
"Nine students from different grade levels between second and fifth grade took part in raising the trout," said Mike Nepa, Evergreen Elementary/Middle School gifted teacher. "We got them in October and started with around 500 eggs."
He said that the trout are now three to four inches long.
"Warren Jaggars Sr. (maintenance) was very instrumental in helping," Nepa said.
"The kids did a great job in taking care of the fish," said Jaggars.
They added that some of the students even named the fish, including Patrick Star.
"The program has been going on for three or four years so far," said Nepa. "This is the first year that Evergreen is participating."
He added that the school had a grant and they used that money to purchase all necessary items.
"There wasn't enough room when the fish started getting bigger so we gave some to the middle school and released some others," said Nepa. "The kids enjoyed taking care of the fish."
"They learned everything from the eggs hatching to feeding the trout, pH levels, water quality and changing the water," said Jaggars.
The rest of the fish were released on Tuesday in Van Auken Creek, with the exception of one so the students could continue to take care of it until the end of the school year.