School kids, teachers gear up to raise trout

Every year since 2001, children at approximately 50 Southern Nevada schools have set up aquariums in their classrooms in anticipation of receiving rainbow trout eggs they will hatch and raise as part of their class curriculum. It’s all part of the Trout in the Classroom program sponsored by the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

“Trout in the Classroom is a unique opportunity for students to get a close look at one of nature’s amazing processes. Watching the fish grow from hatchlings to fry gives students a new perspective about the life cycle,” said Ivy Santee, aquatic education coordinator for the NDOW.

The program is for students in the fourth, fifth and sixth grades.

It is popular with teachers and principals because of its hands-on approach to science and resulting higher test scores, not only in science but in math and other disciplines as well, Santee said.

To participate in the program, teachers must complete a training course in which they learn how to set up and maintain an aquarium suitable for raising trout.

The next training course is scheduled for Jan. 23. It’s at this training session that instructors receive the equipment necessary to implement the program in their classes.

NDOW receives fertilized eggs from the national fish hatchery system in early February and distributes those eggs among participating schools. The eggs hatch in as little as five to seven days from the time they are received. And depending on water temperature, it could take as long as a month before the hatchlings start looking like fish and begin searching for food. That’s when students will have the chance to release their charges into preselected trout waters in the Las Vegas area.

In addition to the aquariums established in schools around the Las Vegas Valley, NDOW also will set up an aquarium in the lobby at its Las Vegas office at 4747 Vegas Drive. The tank will be available for easy viewing, and anyone can stop by to inspect development of the eggs and the subsequent stages fish go through until they develop into swim-up fry. NDOW is encouraging visitors to stop by and help predict the exact day the eggs will hatch.

The Clark County School District also will have a tank complete with a Web cam, so classes not participating in the program can log on and view the progress of the fish.

Teachers interested in participating in this program need to register on the Trout in the Classroom Web site through the link at www.ndow.org. For additional information contact Ivy Santee at 486-5127, Ext. 3503.


Introduction to fly-fishing class scheduled for Dec. 12

The Nevada Department of Wildlife will have a free “Introduction to Fly Fishing” class Dec. 12. The class is organized into two parts, with a classroom portion starting at 8 a.m. at the NDOW Las Vegas office, 4747 Vegas Drive. This part of the class will cover terminology, knots, how to choose equipment and other information to help the beginning angler.

Casting skills will be taught in the second portion of the class, which will be later that morning at Sunset Park pond.

The class will end by 2 p.m. This class is recommended for participants who are 12 years of age or older who would like a hands-on learning experience to help understand the technique of fly-fishing. For more information and registration contact Ivy Santee at 486-5127, Ext. 3503, registration begins at 8 a.m. Monday.


Wildlife Commission to review policy/regulations

The Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners will hear recommendations to adopt changes to several regulations including new language defining certain antelope, elk and deer physical descriptions for hunting, and changes to the hunt units available for the Moapa Valley limited entry fall and spring turkey hunts at its Friday and Saturday meeting in Reno.

The meeting will be at the Nevada Department of Wildlife office at 1100 Valley Road and will commence at 10 a.m. Friday and at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. The meeting is open to the public.

Other items before the commission include Commission General Regulation 370, authorizing a person to take bullfrogs or crayfish without obtaining a license or permit issued by the department under certain circumstances, a regulation relating to wildlife management areas; providing that only vessels without motors may be used during certain periods on the Dacey Reservoir in the Wayne E. Kirch Wildlife Management Area, and a regulation expanding the permissible radius of a cast net used in certain waters.

The Commission will review recommendations/changes from the Commission’s Administrative Procedures, Regulation Committee to Commission Policy No. 50, Duck Stamp Procedure; Commission Policy No. 51, Wayne E. Kirch Nevada Wildlife Conservation Award; and Commission Policy No. 22, Introduction, Transplanting and Exportation of Wildlife.

Several reports also will be presented, including updates on junior hunt eligibility, Nevada waterfowl hunting zones, the lapsed angler program, a wild horse and burro update and a 2011 legislative report.

The commission will be asked to approve the amended biennial Big Game Release Plan for FY 2010 and 2011 and will hear a report from its Wildlife Damage Management Committee on proposed Heritage Program Predator Projects: 10-23, 10-26, and 10-27.

Members of the public who would like to address the commission on a topic not on the agenda may do so during the public comment period near the beginning of each meeting.

People wishing to address the commission about those items should complete a speaker’s card and present it to the recording secretary.

For a complete agenda and support materials, visit www.ndow.org, under “Our Agency, Commissions & Boards.”

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