Fernley Students Release Classroom Trout into Truckee River - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Fernley Students Release Classroom Trout into Truckee River

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An NDOW program called Trout in the Classroom is teaching local school children about the life-cycle of fish. This program is not only educational for the kids, but it's also beneficial to the Truckee River’s natural habitat.

Beginning as just little eggs inside a classroom, small rainbow trout have been raised and cared for by students from Fernley Elementary School since January. The kids have learned about ideal water conditions, and also the best possible habitat for trout to survive.

In order to give the fish a more natural habitat to live in, the kids released their trout into the Truckee River on Wednesday at the McCarran Ranch Preserve. This field trip not only gave students and faculty a hands on experience, but teacher Vanessa Burch-Urquhart says it also allowed them to finish their classroom lesson in the great outdoors.

“I think it's the awareness that they have, that there are places like this out here because I don't know what they do on the weekends, but just to show them what is out here and how we can contribute to making it a better place," says Burch-Urquhart.

In addition to the school helping to make the river a better place, this year the river is giving back to the fish.

Tricia Dutcher, a wildlife educator with NDOW, says thanks to a record breaking snow fall this winter, runoff is keeping the river cold and deep, which is ideal for trout to survive.

"When the river gets low, the water warms up, releases a lot of oxygen and the trout are struggling at that point, so having all of this extra water, it's going to be good for fishing," says Dutcher.

She says the small trout aren't meant to be good for fishing. Although the Trout in the Classroom program will add an additional 1,000 rainbow trout into the Truckee River, she says they don't consider this a river stocking event.

"Nothing compared to the stocking program that we have formally, so we do have a hatchery that's raising different kinds of trout and we're formally stocking them in, so we put thousands of fish in at a time when we stock the river ourselves," says Dutcher.

The community is invited to Rock Park on April 22nd,  which is also Earth Day, to release any fish leftover from the Trout in the Classroom program.

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