Saturday, February 16, 2013


As part of our year-long study of water, we raise trout at our school. We start in January, when the trout are in the eyed-egg stage and we release them in May as fry. Carina from Portland Water District was back this week with another fabulous science lesson, this time all about the trout's anatomy and life cycle.

Now, this poster is colorful and students had their own papers to label as we went along. But how much more fun is it to label the parts when we had our own life-size "trout" right there in the room?
Connor was an eager volunteer and he performed his modeling duties "swimmingly"!

Carina shows the powerful caudal fin, which helps the trout swim upstream at spawning time.

After we talked about each part of the trout's anatomy and how it helped the trout survive, Carina got help from Dominique and Kyle to show the eyed egg and alevin stages.
That prominent black dot is actually the trout's eye! This is the stage our trout are at right now.

Once our eggs hatch, they will be alevin. In this stage, the trout get all their food from their yolk sac, which is good, because they do not yet have fins to swim or a mouth to eat with! The yolk sac is like their own attached lunchbox!

By the time the yolk sac is used up, the trout has developed fins and a mouth. They are then called fry and must begin to find their own food. That is the stage at which we will release them. Between now and then, we have to carefully monitor their water temperature and quality. Trout need very cold, clean water to survive. When it gets closer to the release date, we will go to the release site and test the water there to make sure it is suitable for our trout to survive. Stay tuned to see how it all turns out!



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