Why Do Teachers Stop Hatching Fish?

This is a question we have been pondering for the past several years. In the Bay Area, we experienced steady growth (increase in the number of teachers participating) for many years. For the past several years though, we have trained about 100 new teachers each year yet our overall numbers have remained steady.

For the past two years we have surveyed teachers who have opted out in hopes of learning why they no longer hatch fish. If we can find a cause (or problem), we can attempt to fix it.

The results of our recent efforts can be found in the report below. Please read the report (it is not that long) and let us know what you think.

  • Do you agree with our analysis?
  • Are we missing something?
  • Do you feel additional pressure to perform your job that may preclude you from future participation?

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Getting Ready For Hatching Fish

Teachers who hatched fish last year:

  1. Check the posted list to ensure you are current and eligible to apply for eggs, Save this link as it will soon change to a list of teachers who have applied for eggs this year and have been approved.
  2. Complete an application for eggs and submit it to R3CAEP@wildlife.ca.gov (you may want to send a copy to your sponsor as well)
  3. If you are hatching steelhead in Sonoma/Mendocino, check the list of available egg pick up dates
  4. Bookmark the above pages so you can easily find them later
  5. You are welcome and encouraged to attend a teacher training workshop as a refresher. This is not required but will help you in your teaching and we waive the fee for you
  6. Explore the website and begin thinking of great ways to extend your program this year
  7. Watch for updates on curriculum, grants and new ideas

New teachers to the program

Teachers new to this program need to start by enrolling in a training workshops. There will be three workshops this year and you should enroll based on the location of your school. There is limited space and many workshops fill up quickly.

Workshop registration

Alameda, Contra Costa, Solono Counties

Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Napa Counties

Sonoma and Mendocino Counties

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Do You Have A Project In Mind And Need A Bit Of Cash To Help Make It Happen?

Deadline Extended!

The Northern California Council Federation of Fly Fishers International (NCCFFI) is offering a series of mini-grants to teachers participating in the Classroom Aquarium Education Program (CAEP) in the San Francisco Bay Area. Funds received from these grants will be used to enhance the classroom experience of hatching trout in the classroom.

Image result for thinking about money


Applicants must:

  • Be certified and in good standing with the CDFW Region 3 CAEP program (eligible to receive eggs)
  • Have participated in the program in 2018
  • Have submitted a complete 772 application to hatch fish in 2019
  • Teach in San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, Marin, Santa Cruz or Solano Counties


Funds may be used for classroom materials that enhance students understanding of fish, watersheds, and/or how human actions affect fish, and be directly tied to your class study of trout. These funds are for purchasing materials only in any curriculum area including science, art, language arts or other subject areas. NCCFFI will not fund guest speakers or transportation.

Ideal projects:

  • Are repeatable (meaning you can use the materials more than one year)
  • Involve others (other schools, classes, or the community at large)
  • Use technology to reach a larger audience (videos, live casts, slide shows)
  • Match funds from the community (but not from the teacher)
  • Involve direct student action and involvement

All decisions by IFF are final.

Amount you may request

NCCFFF has about $1000 to distribute. The maximum award will be $250. Smaller requests are encouraged, as this will allow more classes to receive grants.

To apply

Complete the attached from and submit it to ethan.rotman@widlife.ca.gov by 2/21/19.

Grants will be reimbursable based on actual receipts. If you receive an award letter, you may purchase items up to the dollar amount stated, submit the receipts and you will receive reimbursement.

IFF Classroom Aquarium Education Program Grant Application:

Please provide the information below in a separate document. Maximum 2 pages although supplemental info (photos, related projects) may be added to that.

  1. Teacher name
  2. School
  3. Sponsor
  4. Grade level taught
  5. Number of students who will benefit
  6. Provide a brief overview of your project
  7. List materials needs with an estimate of cost
  8. What are the desired outcomes of the project?
  9. Will other classes or schools participate in or benefit from this project? Please describe.
  10. List any outside funding or volunteer time (not including your coach or sponsor) that will be part of this project.
  11. What is the life-span of the materials you are purchasing? (is this a one-time project or will it continue into future years?
  12. Any additional information you would like to add? Feel free to attach photos or other supplemental materials you feel will be helpful.


Submit application no later than 2/21/19 to ethan.rotman@wildlife.ca.gov

2018 Grant Recipients

Tegan McGuinness and Emily GallagherNeil Cummins ElementaryMarin Environmental Literacy and Learning Collaborative
Alison WilkeyRio Vista Elementary SchoolTrout sculpture
Chandra SherrOhlone ElementaryFish t shirts
Linda HambrickSouth San Francisco High SchoolMarin Biology Tank
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Do You Study Streams And Macroinvertabrates With Your Students?

We have a limited supply of “Pond and Stream Safari” curriculum packet available to enhance your class experience of hatching fish. We are willing to offer these to you at no-cost – all we ask is that:

  1. You are hatching fish in your classroom this school year
  2. You plan on taking your class to a lake, pond,  or steam to explore and study


POND AND STREAM SAFARI, A Guide to the Ecology of Aquatic Invertebrates. Edelstein.  Perfect field guide for use with students ages 8-13. Includes project manual, reference guide, species identification cards, worksheets, and a checklist for recording data. Students can use this guide to locate and study crayfish, dragonfly nymphs, water bugs, whirligig beetles, diving beetles, mayfly nymphs, caddisfly larvae, and more


To request your copy, send an email  with the following information:

  • Your name
  • School name
  • Mailing address (include zip code)
  • A one paragraph description of how you hope to use the guide.

Here is more information on the guide 



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Being In Nature Improves The Quality Of Your Life

Image result for being outdoorsI think many of us believe this is true which is why, in part, we teach environmental concepts to our students. Here is a fun and fascinating podcast that demonstrates why our work is so important.



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Project E-Trout (Virtual Reality With Trout)

Linking research and education with virtual reality
Virtual reality (VR) provides exciting opportunities for environmental education and research.

We invite your participation in a new program to engage students, anglers, and citizen
scientists in fish ecology and climate change research using new VR methods. Participants will
learn about fish ecology first-hand by exploring streams in VR and will be members of a
research team lead by US Geological Survey (USGS) scientists. This program is free and designed
for students, anglers, and citizen scientists of all ages.
Here’s how it works:
1. USGS collects 360-degree video samples from trout streams in Shenandoah National
Park, Virginia (completed during summer 2018).
2. Participants access videos from a website and use standard computer monitors or VR
headsets (e.g., Google cardboard) to watch them.
3. Participants then record data on fish species abundance and behavior using Google
Forms (or email).
4. USGS then analyzes the combined data and reports key findings to participants.
The inaugural program runs February to May 2019 and supports flexible scheduling:
participants can watch as few or as many videos as they want at any time. The program begins
with an introductory webinar by USGS in February and concludes with a webinar reporting
results in May. Your ideas and participation are essential for the success of this new program!

For more information and to register contact:
Nathaniel (Than) Hitt, PhD
US Geological Survey, Leetown Science Center
nhitt@usgs.gov; 304-724-4463

If you do participate, be sure to inform Ethan.

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Teacher Opportunities

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) offers quite an impressive list of services for teachers. Take a moment and see if any are of interest to you.

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