by ViAnna Anderson
Each year, with special permission from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, several classes of second and third Graders at Rose Elementary Schools became ichthyologists, fish scientists. For weeks, students watch trout eggs provided from a local hatchery develop to become alevin and then fryling. This is all designed to allow students an opportunity to view nature up close and so they have a personal connection to their environment.
Students observed eggs hatching into alevin with their yolk sac. An exciting part of their discovery was recognizing parr marks and emerging fins on their tiny trout. The students recorded water temperature, fish size, and stage of development in journals. They collaborated with the other students from Lucille Lai, Ramon Vijil, and ViAnna Anderson’s classes in art projects, stories, and lessons about the watershed, water cycle, landforms, fish anatomy, and conservation.
Finally, the fish were big enough to survive on their own. On April 2, students released 46 baby fryling rainbow trout into Ed Levin Park’s Spring Valley Pond. Students were proud of the accomplishment that they were able to make a difference in their world by helping a species of fish survive and then go back into nature to thrive.