Trout in the Classroom
Trout in the Classroom (TIC) is an educational program tied to the curricula for 4th and 5th grades, to teach students about the science, art, recreation and other values of fish and aquatic life.
TIC was started in Nevada by Ron and Ann Privrasky through the Truckee River Fly Fishers. This group of dedicated anglers, raised funds and worked with teachers and Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) biologists to place tanks in 30 schools across Northern Nevada. NDOW officially took over responsibility for the TIC program in January, 2001.
How does it work?
NDOW provides an aquarium-chiller combination (est. value, $1,000 per tank). You only need to apply once for the program, but must apply each year for rainbow trout eggs. Training is mandatory for new teachers, optional for second year and beyond. You may recruit a volunteer who will act as a "tank buddy," or have one assigned at the training. After the training, you will need to help the students set up and operate the tanks so that they are sure the incubator (aquarium-chiller), is set up and operating properly. This should be done at least two weeks prior to the delivery of eggs. If there are problems which can not be readily solved, contact the regional Angler Education coordinator for help. By mid-February, eggs arrive from the hatchery and are picked up by the tank buddies from a central point. Training and delivery dates vary for different parts of the state. Southern Nevada teachers receive training in November or December and egg delivery in January. Check with your regional Angler Education coordinator for delivery times and dates in your area. When the eggs arrive, supervised students will put the eggs in the tank. For the next six weeks or so, students will make observations, adjustments and care for the incubator until the eggs hatch and fry are released. Everything teachers need to know about the maintenance of the tank and the fish will be explained in the training and outlined in the following pages for their reference.
Who is it for?
TIC is perfect for the 5th grade. Activities include: science and art projects, journalling, measuring, math skills, visual and language arts. TIC crosses all scholastic disciplines and results in stronger understanding of math, science and social studies. The enthusiasm of students and teachers involved in TIC is manifest in the amazing variety and number of activities and projects. Not only are teachers using TIC in the classroom, sometimes whole schools and even communities turn out for the release. Some have made release day a "mini-Earth Day," with educational booths, field projects, river clean-up and more. This Curriculum Guide has some of the basic projects and activities that teachers use in TIC.
Note: The eggs and trout in TIC are not for stocking or restoration. The trout eggs and fish release are permitted only for educational purposes.
If you would like more information about the Trout in the Classroom Program, please contact your regional representative:
Log in to the volunteer web site and create an account by clicking on your region Western, Southern, or Eastern.
History of Tasmanian Trout
The strain of trout known as Tasmanian did not originate in Tasmania. In fact, there are no native trout south of the equator; they were all introduced from North America (rainbow trout) or Europe (brown trout). Thought to be originally a coastal rainbow, fish were shipped to Tasmania in the early 1900s, where they eventually adapted to the seasonal change; our winter is their summer. Once the rainbow were imported back to the states, they had changed their spawning time from spring to winter, allowing rainbow trout eggs to be grown in an aquarium in late winter.