Students Hooked on IDFG's Trout in the Classroom Program

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Updated: 5/23/2013 6:44 pm
Idaho Fish and Game’s Trout in the Classroom program has had tremendous growth in just a short amount of time. A record numbers of students are receiving hands on training while learning the value of fish in our ecosystem.

“I like it,” said 5th Grade Student, Payton Belzer. “It’s beautiful; you can spend time in nature.”

While Payton’s school may be nice, he's clearly not talking about his classroom. He’s talking about the Edson Fichter nature area where he and a few dozen of his classmates have been learning about our ecosystem while raising trout.

“It gives the kids an understanding of why it’s important to take care of our waterways,” said Carri Thomason, Teacher at the Pocatello Charter School. “They love these fish and they want them to be healthy.”

When Jennifer Jackson took over the Trout in the Classroom program in 2005, there was only one class participating. Today they have 22 because of donors and because of the recently completed Edson Fichter fishing pond.

“I love the trout in the classroom program and I love to see the excitement the kids have raising little eggs to the point where they can release them into the wild,” said Jennifer Jackson of Idaho Fish and Game. “Just seeing the connection that they have with the little ecosystem in their classroom and then coming out to a place like Edson Fichter and being able to see a more wild or natural ecosystem with the river and the nature area, just making that connection is so important.”

The teachers we spoke with say the pond helps their students understand the roll fish play in our ecosystem. The fishermen we spoke with say the trout taste great with a little butter and lemon.
Fish and Game usually stocks the pond with about 500 trout each month. Anglers are allowed to keep two fish per day on the pond.
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