Trout in the Classroom (TIC) Bigger Than Ever

The Rapidan Chapter is currently supporting TIC in 18 schools for the 2014-15 school year. They are located in six counties. Most of the schools are in Fauquier, but we also have schools in Culpeper, Rappahannock, Madison, Prince William, and Stafford. Six of the schools are elementary schools, four are middle schools, and eight are high schools. There are 13 Trout Unlimited Chapters throughout Virginia working with over 220 schools this year.

The schools receive Brook Trout eggs in October and raise them to the fingerling stage. The fish are released in April and May. Most will be released in a stream on the Thompson Wildlife Management Area near Markham. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has invested their resources in the stream to make it a viable trout stream. Before TIC, there were no trout in the stream. It is now open to the public for catch and release fishing, thanks to the TIC trout released each spring.

It costs about $1000 for the equipment to raise trout in a typical classroom setting. The Rapidan Chapter supports most of the schools by purchasing the chilling units, which cost over $600. The units keep the aquarium water at about 50 degrees, which is ideal for trout. Many schools receive small grants and donations, or use school funds to purchase the 55 gallon aquariums and associated filters, pumps, and water testing kits necessary for the project. The Rapidan Chapter has been supporting local schools in the TIC program for seven years.

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