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The North Bay Chapter of Trout Unlimited sponsors two educational programs both of which focus on increasing environmental awareness among local youth and their parents. Trout in the Classroom provided the equipment and expertise required for approximately 1,650 students in 66 classrooms to raise trout from egg to fry and participate in their eventual release. First Cast introduced 150 young people to fishing through five events held last year. Please scroll down the page for details.
In 2012, we started up a new effort to take visually impaired veteran’s fishing and NBTU have hosted three outings at the Rockin’ H Ranch to get veterans some time on the water.
First Cast 2015
On Sept. 20th, NBTU presented its 15th Annual First Cast Day at the Marin Civic Center Lagoon. Thirty-five youngsters rotated through the six stations, learning the basics of: Reading The Water, Gear & Rigging, Knot Tying, Fly Tying, Fly Casting, and Spin Casting. During this time, George Starn conducted a casting clinic for the 30 adults, which not only taught them how to cast a fly line, but how to "coach" their kids. This was followed by a raffle with 14 of the kids winning fly fishing prizes, including three rod/reel/line combos, a landing net, four fishing vests, and numerous boxes of flies, and then a sumptuous BBQ lunch put on by Mike Cronin and Linda Perone. On Sunday, Oct 4th, we offered our first follow-up session at the Marin Cheese Factory where the kids practiced their knot tying and fly casting skills, and hook, land, and release numerous Bluegill and small Bass. On Sunday, Oct 11th, we conducted a second follow-up session at Putah Creek where kids reinforced their reading the water knowledge and learn nymphing skills. A six-minute video created by Ed Dudkowski can be found on You Tube: First Cast 2015.
Our Trout in the Classroom (“TIC”) program, operated in conjunction with California Department of Fish and Wildlife (“CDFW”), is about to ramp up for this coming school year. This watershed aquatic education program focuses on trout, how and where they live, adaptations and anatomy, life cycles, and life in the riparian zones. The flagship of TIC is the raising of baby trout in the classroom from eggs to young fish (fry) that will be released into the Lagunitas Watershed. Teachers are now reapplying for the program or signing up to join the program. If you know a teacher who may be interested in becoming part of TIC, have them contact Ethan Rotman at CDFW (ETHAN.ROTMAN@wildlife.ca.gov) as soon as possible so they can be added to his notification list.
Also, we can always use a few more volunteers to assist teachers and classes in learning more about trout. The commitment is short-term and is coordinated between the volunteer and the teacher. Contact Chuck Schultz at email@example.com or 415-472-5837 for more information.
More than 2,700 fertilized trout eggs were delivered to classrooms in late February. Students observe the eggs, watch them hatch and follow their development as the fish become free swimming fry. After about five weeks, the fish are released under the provisions of the CDFW issued permit. Today, using rainbow trout, the program serves 78 classrooms across Marin County, impacting more than 1,600 students from preschool through 8th grade.
Click on this link Trout in the Classroom 2015 or the picture below to access a video created by Ed Dudkowski on the NBTU Trout in the Classroom program. Click Here to read a story by the Marin Independent Journal and Here for a segment that appeared on KTVU on TIC in 2015. If you are interested in becoming a "coach" for a local classroom, please contact us at info@NBTU.org. We need your help.
We received the following email from Mary Jane Burke, the Marin County Superintendent of Schools
Ed and All My Friends with the Trout in the Classroom Program--
This video says it all. To see the wonder, amazement and joy on the faces of the children as they participate in the program is priceless. The information they are absorbing is obvious and their interest in learning is evidenced by their enthusiastic questions and the level of "excited noise" the program evokes. It is truly a wonderful example of how effective "hands-on-learning" can be. Thank you for allowing me to say a few words of support on the video. Thank you for all of the hard work you each of you do to make the program possible. Most of all, thank you for caring about our children and helping them to learn how precious and fragile our environment is and how interrelated we are with our natural surroundings. Know that you have my continuing support in any way possible. I look forward to the 2016 version of the program. You are great partners In public education. It is an honor to work with you.
Mary Jane Burke
Marin County Superintendent of Schools
TROUT IN THE CLASSROOM 2014
"When will the eggs arrive?"
"When will they hatch?"
"Can I take a fish home?"
"How do you tell if they are boy or girl fish?"
These are some of the questions which were asked by students across Marin and in San Francisco. The focus of their thinking is a natural part of Trout in the Classroom. NBTU sponsored 75 classrooms which studied the many and varied aspects of trout and salmon and where and how they live.
THE FLAG IS UP, AND, THEY'RE OFF!!
TROUT IN THE CLASSROOM SEASON HAS BEGUN!
Saturday, December 8, saw nearly 35 teachers from Marin, Napa, Contra Costa, and Alameda Counties attend the annual area workshop for teachers new to Trout in the Classroom.
The seminar was supported by members of the Classroom Aquarium Education Project of the Department of Fish and Wildlife, representatives of the Marin Municipal Water District, coaches and sponsors from North Bay Chapter, Napa Valley Fly Fishers, Tri Valley Fly Fishers, Diablo Valley Fly Fishers, Mission Peak Fly Fishers, and Aquarium of the Bay, altogether about 48 people were in attendance. DFG plans the agenda and the various representatives and sponsors present topics or add information throughout the day.